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Federal Workers on Edge as Shutdown Threatens Livelihoods



Clear Facts:

  • The White House staff has received instructions on the imminent government shutdown, categorizing workers as exempt, excepted, or furloughed.
  • Many federal employees are likely to be furloughed, with “essential” workers working without pay until the shutdown concludes.
  • The looming shutdown stems from disagreements on spending plans and policies between Republicans and Democrats, including assistance to Ukraine and border and immigration policies.

Preparations are intensifying in Washington as the federal workforce braces for a possible government shutdown. White House staff received guidance through an email from the budget office, categorizing them into three distinct categories: exempt, excepted, and furloughed. The categorization was part of the measures to deal with the anticipated shutdown due to the lack of a spending deal.

Exempt and excepted workers were directed to report to work on the day following the anticipated commencement of the shutdown. The excepted workers encompass senior White House staff members, such as the chief of staff, director of the National Economic Council, and the press secretary, indicating that pivotal roles will continue their operations unhindered.

For those who didn’t fall into the exempt or excepted categories, the prospect of being furloughed looms. These employees must cease all work activities as of midnight on the day of the shutdown, bar a four-hour window allotted for “orderly shutdown activities.”

The email communicated that both furloughed and excepted employees “will receive retroactive pay for the furlough period as soon as possible” post the shutdown’s conclusion.

This is not an isolated struggle within the White House. Across all agencies, numerous federal employees are likely to face furlough, with some being deemed “essential,” and thereby obligated to work, albeit without pay until the end of the shutdown.

This procedure is in response to the absence of agreement on a spending plan, causing Republicans to scramble to converge on a stopgap bill.

House conservatives and their leader, Kevin McCarthy, are striving to muster adequate votes for a bill. This proposed bill harbors not only profound spending cuts but also incorporates stringent border and immigration policies, reflecting the inclinations of the hard-line conservatives within the Republican chamber.

These policies, however, are clashing fiercely with the propositions from Congressional Democrats and the White House, rendering the bill’s journey into law virtually impossible.

The disconnect between the two major political entities is palpable. The Democrat-controlled Senate is pitching a bipartisan plan intended to sustain government functions until mid-November. This proposition also involves extending $6 billion in new assistance to Ukraine.


However, this measure is finding no traction amongst House Republicans, who are expressing reluctance, advocating instead to restrict or altogether cease further assistance to Kyiv amid its ongoing conflict with Russia’s invasive forces.

The potential shutdown is a mirror to past events, the last one being in 2018-2019, stretching for 35 days, marking it as the longest in US history. That shutdown was the result of then-President Donald Trump’s steadfast refusal to approve a funding bill absent of provisions for his border wall.

The eventual resolution was a temporary measure that reopened the government, without the additional funding for the wall, a concession from Trump.

Nonetheless, in the current scenario, he has been vocal in encouraging House Republicans to persist in their push, thereby driving the government towards another shutdown.

We want to know what you think! Share your thoughts in the comments below.




  1. frazier

    October 1, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    I am receiving federal pay, however I DO AGREE WITH THE REPUBLICANS, The current budget has a lot of wast spending, OUR Bordrers need to be secured ahead of helping other countries. Communist participators could be coming over our border undetected, how many other countries have uncontrollable borders.

    • John

      December 1, 2023 at 6:41 pm

      The House speaker better grow a backbone. And don’t cave in. With a 34 trillion debt, and over a trillion in interest. Enough of this corruption from this clown show.the fed. Gov. Is to fat to begin with. They are like a drug junkie. Only their fix is printing money we don’t have. They all should be sent to gitmo for treason to our Constitution. They are parasites to the taxpayers.

  2. Duncan O'Neil

    October 1, 2023 at 9:15 pm

    History has shown me there are no financial repercussions to workers, regardless of “category”.

  3. boone1

    October 1, 2023 at 9:29 pm


  4. Bud

    October 1, 2023 at 11:47 pm

    Most of them don’s do shit anyway.

  5. Colby Goodson

    October 2, 2023 at 7:08 am

    So federal employees not exempt will get back pay for taking a vacay? Seems like a win-win.

  6. Melanie Lecompte

    October 2, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    UH! Those law makers STILL get paid! Bet if effected Their Wallets, it Would be a Different STORY! me

  7. Gerald Scott Ladd

    October 3, 2023 at 12:22 pm

    You are correct, MELANIE LECOMPTE

    • Lela Sandoval

      December 2, 2023 at 12:45 pm

      Cut their pay and drain their bank accounts and let’s see how they feel! Use their retirement savings to pay our debt!, they created. Let’s see how democrats and the filthy rich feel. The people worked and paid their bills, taxes and have had democrats steal half of our retirement already and they buy two or three houses. Enough is enough! Time for them to pay their fair share!

  8. EUGEN

    December 2, 2023 at 12:58 pm


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