US: Shutdown hangover: Still waiting on pay, funding delayed, business approvals stalled - PressFrom - US
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USShutdown hangover: Still waiting on pay, funding delayed, business approvals stalled

03:30  10 february  2019
03:30  10 february  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

Flight attendants union warns of possible airport chaos if there's another shutdown

Flight attendants union warns of possible airport chaos if there's another shutdown Talks between Republicans and Democrats stalled over the weekend, increasing fears negotiators won't be able to strike a deal.

A shutdown only affects funds annually appropriated by Congress, not funding that is sustained long-term. The Social Security trust fund is paid for While previous shutdowns have led to the furlough of Social Security employees and some services, a full-year funding agreement for the Social Security

Government shutdowns , in United States politics, refer to a funding gap period that causes a full or partial shutdown of federal government operations and agencies.

Shutdown hangover: Still waiting on pay, funding delayed, business approvals stalled© Kevin Lamarque Image: Federal government workers protest

With the threat of another government shutdown looming Friday, government workers, federal agencies and private sector businesses are still trying to dig out from the damage of the last one.

While the majority of 800,000 affected federal employees have been able to collect the wages they lost during the record 35-day partial government shutdown, some still have not received any of their back pay — and some government contractors have not been able to return to work two weeks after the partial closure ended.

Shutdown talks stalled

Shutdown talks stalled A stopgap Homeland Security bill is being discussed now.

Retiree Pay and SBP Payments . Military retirees were to still receive their regular pension checks in the event of a shutdown in Jan. That's because those funds were paid from a different account that was not impacted by the annual funding bill Congress had yet to pass.

Failure to approve a government funding bill could also throw new doubts over Republicans’ ability to Trump’s border wall was a central campaign pledge that he still insists Mexico will pay for in the end, though If negotiations have slowed or stalled Congress could pursue a short-term extension

There are other lingering problems as well — backlogs at federal agencies and the possibility of another shutdown are causing delays on everything from the approval of new craft beers to stalling major companies' plans to go public.

"There's still a lot of work to do before we can get to anything close to back to normal," Alan Chvotkin, executive vice-president of the Professional Services Council, told NBC News.

The council represents 400 companies with government contracts, and Chvotkin said many are still waiting on payments for work done before the Dec. 22 shutdown. "There are millions and millions of dollars waiting to be paid out," he said.

And some contractors given "stop work" orders during the shutdown still haven't got the green light to return to work.

Trump lashes out at Dems for 'brand new demand' in border security talks

Trump lashes out at Dems for 'brand new demand' in border security talks President Trump on Monday lashed out at Democrats after border security negotiations hit a snag in part because of their desire to cap the number of beds available to hold detained immigrants. "The Democrats do not want us to detain, or send back, criminal aliens! This is a brand new demand. Crazy!" Trump tweeted. The Democrats do not want us to detain, or send back, criminal aliens! This is a brand new demand. Crazy!- Donald J.

A shutdown occurs when Congress can't agree on a budget. The longest U.S. shutdown began on In the normal budget process, Congress appropriates funds by September 30 for the following fiscal year. The true cost is probably higher. The CBO couldn't estimate the impact on businesses who

Since funding wasn't enacted for those agencies, they were partially shut down . Some of the employees working at those agencies have stayed on the job nonetheless, while others have been furloughed. In both cases, they will be unpaid until spending authority is restored.

And while President Donald Trump signed legislation giving federal employees back pay and Congress has pushed for the payments to go out as soon as possible, some workers have received only a fraction of what they're owed — and some haven't gotten anything.

"We have people who are missing 25 to 30 percent of their pay," said Dave Verardo of the National Science Foundation, a federal agency. "We have one guy who was paid three times in one day and still came up short."

Officials say the problems are a result of "systems issues" at the National Finance Center, which is responsible for handling most of the paychecks for the 800,000 employees who were affected by the shutdown.

They added that about two percent of the Department of Homeland Security's employees were hit by the pay problem, including some civilian Coast Guard employees.

"The Coast Guard is aware that approximately eight percent of our civilian workforce received pay for only one of the two missed pay periods during the lapse in appropriation. Additionally, approximately 0.2 percent of the civilian force did not receive either paycheck," said Coast Guard spokeswoman Lisa Novak.

Trump says he will look for 'land mines' in funding bill

Trump says he will look for 'land mines' in funding bill President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he will look for "land mines" in a government funding bill, though he also said he does not want to close the government again.

It said the stoppage delayed Food and Drug Administration approvals of medical devices and drugs, stalled almost billion in refunds to taxpayers, halted Some 700 small businesses that had applied for roughly 0 million in loans during the shutdown had to wait until it ended to gain approval .

And the shutdown also could stall verification of employment for government employees. Shutdown -related issues are causing delays of up to two weeks on typical loans, said Alan Still , one industry leader thinks it's mostly business as usual. "The government shutdown is having a minimal

"The NFC is now processing all time cards associated with the missed pay periods. Originally, the Coast Guard and the NFC announced that all corrections would be made by Feb. 4-5; however, it now appears that it may take until Feb. 11-12 to correct all deficiencies and deliver the requisite paychecks," she said

Bradley Bishop, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget, told the Associated Press earlier this week the Trump administration had taken "unprecedented steps to ensure federal employees impacted by the shutdown received back pay within a week." He didn't respond to questions about how many people still hadn't been paid.

Most of the estimated 1.2 million government contractors who were affected, meanwhile, aren't getting any back pay, although Chvotkin said he was hopeful Congress would pass legislation authorizing that pay before the next shutdown deadline. "It's the first time this many members of Congress had talked about it," he said.

Hangovers from the shutdown are also hampering private businesses.

Bill Butcher, founder of Port City Brewing in Alexandria, Virginia, testified at a congressional hearing this week that his business is still reeling because of a shutdown-caused backlog at the little known Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The agency signs off on labels and formulas for craft beers — and the brewers can't sell new beers without a Certificate of Label Approval.

Trump’s failed shutdown strategy produced an even worse deal than he started with

Trump’s failed shutdown strategy produced an even worse deal than he started with The president would get some funding for border fencing. It wouldn't even be what he was originally offered.

This is the first time that the government shut down under one-party control since the 1979 shutdown under President Jimmy Carter. What's different this time around is that the government shutdown will include the employee furlough and disrupt many more operations than the funding lapses in the 1970s.

Bipartisan talks to avert another government shutdown are going great, except on the one thing that matters: the border wall. Fresh off the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, Trump has signaled that he is prepared to shut down the government again if the bipartisan committee fails to

He said the process for getting a COLA typically takes two weeks, but the backlog has pushed the wait up to almost two months.

"On Dec. 18, we submitted a label for a beer we were planning to release in the spring. Until we get that approval, we can't sell that beer and the entire supply chain is on hold. The uncertainty isn't just impacting my business, it's impacting everyone I do business with," including wheat farmers, he told the House Committee on Small Business. "We are just one of the thousands of small businesses who are dealing with these repercussions."

Another agency dealing with a significant backlog is the Securities and Exchange Commission, which reviews initial public offerings for companies. It reportedly had a backlog of 40 IPOs at the time the shutdown went into effect, and major companies that had been planning on going public in the beginning of the year are now holding off because of the possibility of another shutdown, said John Coffee Jr., director of the Center on Corporate Governance at the Columbia Law School.

"The SEC has not caught up on its backlog. The backlog is already there," Coffee said, noting the procedure takes time. "It's a process of 3 to 4 weeks of SEC evaluations and then three weeks of negotiations ... we've had 35 days where nothing happened."

And while analysts were hoping for a string of valuable multibillion-dollar companies to go public, those companies are now in a wait-and-see mode.

"They want to wait for the optimal moment. Who's going to be encouraged if the government shuts down? It's like a 'Groundhog Day' trap," Coffee said, referring to the classic Bill Murray movie in which the main character lives the same day over and over again.

Trump: No shutdown deal without wall money.
President Trump pushed back on Democrats who stressed their opposition to a wall. "If they're not going to give money for the wall ... it's not going to work," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. The president said he would wait to see if Congress can come up with an agreement before the Feb. 15 funding deadline before he decides whether to declare a national emergency in a bid to build the wall on his own. Citing what he said is a threat posed by a new migrant caravan making its way toward the U.S., Trump claimed that "Nancy Pelosi will be begging for a wall.

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