Back on December 21st, right before Christmas, we were pretty sure the U.S. Government was headed for a holiday shutdown. What we couldn’t expect is that almost 4 weeks later, we’d still be talking about the same thing, with a government shutdown continuing without an end in sight.
After weeks of a government shutdown, many emergency funds have run dry. National parks and museums are closed around the country, the federal court system has almost exhausted its funding, and about 800,000 federal employees are either furloughed or working without pay. Today, that includes the Coast Guard who will receive their first $0.00 paycheck of the shutdown after working unpaid for the past few weeks. And for the third of the federal workforce that are veterans, many have been going without pay since the 22nd of December.
Right now, millions of Americans are feeling the effects of this government shutdown. From federal employees to the Coast Guard to government contractors and their families that depend on that income. It’s unacceptable and it’s past time for Congress and the Administration to come to an agreement and reopen the government.
If there is any bit of good news in this somber time, it’s expected that many government employees will be retroactively paid, and many in Congress are addressing the issue of unpaid Coast Guard and uniformed service personnel. And the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) have already been funded for the year. All branches of the military except for the Coast Guard are funded through DoD and will continue to be paid through this government shutdown. In addition, VA is running in near-normal capacity, with its funding secure through the end of September.
With no end it sight, IAVA is joining our VSO partners to call on Congress to end this unnecessary government shutdown and restore pay to the hundreds of thousands of federal employees and uniformed service members who rely on the federal government for their livelihood. Find out more about our latest call to action here.