In the midst of partisan warfare, a government shutdown looms (Nov. 22) (1 Viewer)

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superchuck500

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Due a to deal struck in September, most of the federal government (funded by the 12 annual appropriations bills extend in September) faces a shutdown if new funding or a new resolution is not signed into law by the end of the day, Thursday November 21.

Unlike last years's shut-down that impacted slightly less than half of the federal government, the funding set to expire November 21 would impact most of the government, and the legislative branch. This facet makes it particularly interesting as the GOP-controlled Senate and White House could ostensibly use shutdown to force the House's ongoing investigation to go forward on an unpaid basis.

Such a strategy by Trump and his supporters would carry substantial risk both politically (more than half of Americans blamed Trump for last year's shutdown) and economically, as the increasingly precarious U.S. economy has been well-supported by consumer spending and consumer confidence over the past two quarters. A shutdown at the end of November and stretching into the holiday payroll season would likely damage one of the most important periods for the segments of the U.S. economy that are consumer driven. Anticipating these results would also likely cause a sell-off on Wall Street.



Congress could navigate a shutdown and a presidential impeachment inquiry if lawmakers and the Trump administration can’t reach an agreement on government funding during the next three weeks.

The two events haven’t overlapped before in the nation’s history. If that happens next month, however, roughly 2 million federal workers would get hit in their wallets as the holiday season begins, including staffers working on the impeachment proceedings.
. . .
None of the dozen fiscal 2020 spending measures have been enacted, and top appropriators aren’t particularly hopeful for resolution in the 10 legislative days left when both chambers are in session before Nov. 21, when current stopgap funding expires.

And unlike the 34-day shutdown that began last December, which affected about 40 percent of federal workers, a shutdown starting Nov. 22 would affect all Cabinet departments and congressional staff, just as they are about to receive their last paychecks before the holiday shopping season begins.

By contrast, last year’s shutdown didn’t begin until Dec. 22. The second-longest shutdown in history, a 21-day lapse, began Dec. 16, 1995. And in both instances, the Legislative Branch spending bill had already become law, sparing congressional staff.

That’s not the case this time. House employees could lose a week’s worth of November salary in their end-of-month Black Friday paychecks, if lawmakers don’t cut a deal before they leave town for the Thanksgiving recess.

Senate staff, who normally would be paid Dec. 5 for the last two weeks of November, could see their paychecks cut by more than half, and on Dec. 20 wouldn’t get paid at all if the shutdown persists.

Most federal agency employees would feel the pinch in their mid-December pay dates, typically Dec. 13 or Dec. 16. According to Office of Personnel Management shutdown guidance, payroll processing for pre-shutdown work is an “excepted” activity that continues during a shutdown.

 

JRad

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Such a strategy by Trump and his supporters would carry substantial risk both politically (more than half of Americans blamed Trump for last year's shutdown) and economically, as the increasingly precarious U.S. economy has been well-supported by consumer spending and consumer confidence over the past two quarters. A shutdown at the end of November and stretching into the holiday payroll season would likely damage one of the most important periods for the segments of the U.S. economy that are consumer driven. Anticipating these results would also likely cause a sell-off on Wall Street.
It's still frighteningly in the range of outcomes. He may get blame for the shutdown, but is it going to cost him more politically than a full impeachment "trial" would?
 
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superchuck500

superchuck500

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It's still frighteningly in the range of outcomes. He may get blame for the shutdown, but is it going to cost him more politically than a full impeachment "trial" would?
He can't shutdown the investigation - I think the House staffers would just continue to work unpaid. It might slow some elements of it, but I think the timing is terrible. Maybe he will push for another month or six week extension and then economic hard might be blunted.
 

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Air traffic controllers will ensure that any shutdown is short lived, again...
 
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superchuck500

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Absent a new resolution, the federal government (including DOD) will see appropriations lapse in one week (at midnight, 11/22/2019).

 

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The House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey indicated yesterday that the deal was reached with the Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby to extend the continuing resolution to December 20th. He downplayed that today, indicating that it should be for longer.

As a Federal Employee, and one who'd rather not miss any paychecks during the holiday season, and also as a taxpayer not really excited to see hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on the administrative costs of executing a furlough, I hope they can avoid this blatant idiocy this time around.
 
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superchuck500

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The House passed a CR to extend funding through December 20. The Senate is expected to vote on the CR today - after plans to revise it in the Senate version were dropped.

(CNN)The Senate will vote on Thursday on a short-term funding bill to avert a government shutdown as the clock ticks down to an expiration of government funding that would trigger a shutdown if lawmakers don't act in time to prevent it.

Government funding expires at midnight on Thursday. The House passed a short-term funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, earlier in the week to extend funding through December 20.

The Senate will hold a vote series starting at 11:30 a.m. ET that will include a vote on final passage of the measure, which is expected to pass in the upper chamber. It will then go to President Donald Trump for his expected signature.

As of Wednesday night, Senate Republican leaders were still working to relieve objections on their side of the aisle to components of the month-long continuing resolution to keep the government operating past the deadline when funding expires.

The holdup forced Senate leadership to abandon efforts to have a vote on the bill late Wednesday and instead try to pass it Thursday, according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide. An agreement to hold a vote on Thursday was later reached.
"Nothing is easy," Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the GOP Whip said on Wednesday, before adding that he was hopeful concerns about the bill would resolve as the deadline approaches Thursday and the threat of a shutdown becomes more real.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/21/politics/senate-government-shutdown-deadline/index.html
 

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The House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey indicated yesterday that the deal was reached with the Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby to extend the continuing resolution to December 20th. He downplayed that today, indicating that it should be for longer.

As a Federal Employee, and one who'd rather not miss any paychecks during the holiday season, and also as a taxpayer not really excited to see hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on the administrative costs of executing a furlough, I hope they can avoid this blatant idiocy this time around.
If I could give you FIVE thumbs up, it wouldn't be enough.
As a federal contractor, who burned through three weeks of vacation time last year and filed for unemployment, I'd really rather not do that again, not even for a day!
Oh, the mess it made of the timelines of our assigned projects was absolutely heart-breaking. It took months to get everything back in sync and even then, the lost time could never be made up without seriously compromising the end date and desired end state.
Please, not again.
 

Dadsdream

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The lawyers here will love this.

True story:
MS Dept of Employment Security Telephone Hearing
Re: Dadsdream, Unemployment Claim Fraud

Judge: Dadsdream, you claimed you were unemployed from Jan 2 - Jan 23, 2019?
Dadsdream: Yes, your honor, during the federal sequestration.
Judge: And these pay stubs you've submitted are accurate?
Dadsdream: Yes, your honor.
Judge: Let's look at the first one. It shows you worked 8 hours on January 2. Why is that?
Dadsdream: We were told we could work from home to tie up loose ends on our projects, so I did.
Judge: But, you claimed you didn't work that day.
Dadsdream: Yes, your honor. I was not authorized to work from home because my Internet connection did not meet minimum standards. So, I went to a co-worker's church to get the job done.
Judge: So, you did work 8 hours?
Dadsdream: Yes, your honor. However, if you'll look to the right . . .
Judge: They didn't pay you?
Dadsdream: No, your honor. I worked, but I wasn't authorized to work, so they didn't pay me. But, I did get my project documentation to a stopping point so somebody else could pick it up easily, if I happened to find a new job.
Judge: And the remainder of the days, which your employer reported to the state that they did pay you?
Dadsdream: Your honor, if you'll look at the pay code on the pay stubs . . .
Judge: Holiday. Holiday. Personal Time Off. More Personal Time Off. I see. You received no pay for actual work at all, did you?
Dadsdream: No your honor. The company did not differentiate between Pay vs Holiday vs Personal Time Off when they reported it to the state.
Judge: I think I've seen enough. Thank you, sir. I will render my judgement and you'll be notified.

Email Three Days Later: All charges of Unemployment Claim Fraud dropped. All Unemployment rights and privileges restored.

Yes! But, please, let's not do this again!
 

LA - L.A.

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The lawyers here will love this.

True story:
MS Dept of Employment Security Telephone Hearing
Re: Dadsdream, Unemployment Claim Fraud
How are you able to claim unemployment benefits as an independent contractor? Did you make UI payments on your behalf? Or maybe it's handled differently in different states?
 

Dadsdream

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How are you able to claim unemployment benefits as an independent contractor? Did you make UI payments on your behalf? Or maybe it's handled differently in different states?
I'm not an independent contractor. We're generically referred to as "contractors," because we work for company that provides services to the government under a federal contract.

But, it's true that each state has different ways of handling unemployment. That's what caused the problem. My employer reported my income to Mississippi for taxation purposes without providing a breakout by pay type - Regular, Holiday, Personal Time Off.

The reporting covered the taxation requirements, but under Mississippi law, Holiday Pay and Personal Time Off Pay do not count as paid income for unemployment purposes. That may not be the case in every state.
 

LA - L.A.

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I'm not an independent contractor. We're generically referred to as "contractors," because we work for company that provides services to the government under a federal contract.

But, it's true that each state has different ways of handling unemployment. That's what caused the problem. My employer reported my income to Mississippi for taxation purposes without providing a breakout by pay type - Regular, Holiday, Personal Time Off.

The reporting covered the taxation requirements, but under Mississippi law, Holiday Pay and Personal Time Off Pay do not count as paid income for unemployment purposes. That may not be the case in every state.
Got it. Glad it's been resolved. I don't miss my days of handling HR.
 
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superchuck500

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The lawyers here will love this.

True story:
MS Dept of Employment Security Telephone Hearing
Re: Dadsdream, Unemployment Claim Fraud

Judge: Dadsdream, you claimed you were unemployed from Jan 2 - Jan 23, 2019?
Dadsdream: Yes, your honor, during the federal sequestration.
Judge: And these pay stubs you've submitted are accurate?
Dadsdream: Yes, your honor.
Judge: Let's look at the first one. It shows you worked 8 hours on January 2. Why is that?
Dadsdream: We were told we could work from home to tie up loose ends on our projects, so I did.
Judge: But, you claimed you didn't work that day.
Dadsdream: Yes, your honor. I was not authorized to work from home because my Internet connection did not meet minimum standards. So, I went to a co-worker's church to get the job done.
Judge: So, you did work 8 hours?
Dadsdream: Yes, your honor. However, if you'll look to the right . . .
Judge: They didn't pay you?
Dadsdream: No, your honor. I worked, but I wasn't authorized to work, so they didn't pay me. But, I did get my project documentation to a stopping point so somebody else could pick it up easily, if I happened to find a new job.
Judge: And the remainder of the days, which your employer reported to the state that they did pay you?
Dadsdream: Your honor, if you'll look at the pay code on the pay stubs . . .
Judge: Holiday. Holiday. Personal Time Off. More Personal Time Off. I see. You received no pay for actual work at all, did you?
Dadsdream: No your honor. The company did not differentiate between Pay vs Holiday vs Personal Time Off when they reported it to the state.
Judge: I think I've seen enough. Thank you, sir. I will render my judgement and you'll be notified.

Email Three Days Later: All charges of Unemployment Claim Fraud dropped. All Unemployment rights and privileges restored.

Yes! But, please, let's not do this again!
Yeah, that sucks. I have seen similar rigamarole in other applications (like certain tax credits). These administrative centers have massive volume so the initial triage is by computer - and the computer will kick out filing that doesn't meet the requirements for automatic processing. Here, the computer probably kicked it out b/c you had hours on a pay stub during the period of the claim . . . all it would have taken was a human with a brain to go over it with you. It shouldn't have to go to a damn judge.

I had a similar experience with trying to claim the '08-'09 first time homebuyer's tax credit. I was clearly eligible under the rules (I sold my shotgun double in New Orleans after Katrina and had been renting in the years since, so under the rule I qualified as a "first-time") but I had taken a mortgage interest deduction in the past and I think the computer kicked it out. I got denied the $7500 credit and I had to challenge it. I wrote a pristine, professional response under the IRS rules and it got denied without explanation. I was furious.

I went through the taxpayers advocate but that didn't work - so I prepared formal objection to file at tax court in DC, which was the next step under the rules. But I decided to also reach out to my congressman's office through the website, they had a tax division in their staff. I got a call the next day from a staffer that knew what she was talking about - she understood my issue completely. I send her all of my paperwork and a week later, it was cleared.
 

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