Who decides who gets paid and when during a government shutdown? The president has enormous discretion. He can use that discretion to turn a government shutdown into a favorable or an unfavorable event.
Those certain to be paid without question or interruption are the politicians:Â The White House, Congress and their staffs. Furloughed federal employees are typically paid retroactively but that can also be discretionary.
The big question in this government shutdownÂ is, how in the world do our troops overseasÂ not continue to receive their pay timely?
Earlier administrations have generally accepted that the following services remain uninterrupted: Services funded by permanent appropriations that don't expire; and some services funded by annual appropriations, "if thereâ€™s a reasonable and articulable connection between the function to be performed and the safety of human life or the protection of property."
Services that legally require new appropriations, having expired during a shutdown, can be extended, such asÂ "national security, law enforcement and medical care for those already in hospitals, as well as some that many might find both surprising and infuriating, like 'the conduct of foreign relations'.â€ Services requiring new appropriations are the government services most subject to shutdown.
Stan Collender is writer for Capital Gains and Games of Roll Call, an Internet political and economic news source. His article, "President has the Upper Hand in a Shutdown,"Â discusses the president's wide range of discretion (excerpted):
The Obama administration will have enormous discretion in other ways. Whole departments, agencies and programs are not automatically exempt just because they fall into one of the categories, it will be up to the White House to decide which activities will be conducted if a shutdown actually occurs.
The administration is also free to reject precedents for reasons that include economic and technological changes, new programs and functions, political hardball, and more.
The bottom line about a federal government shutdown is simple: The president has far more room to maneuver and is in a much better position to take control of the situation than Congress. As Clinton showed in 1995 and 1996, when he reclassified some programs several weeks into the fight so that they could operate despite originally being on the shutdown list, the White House even has the ability to change its determinations.
Now you have a very good perspective on the effects of this government shutdown. The same information is consistent throughout a variety of news sources.
Below is excerpted from "Administration Paints Picture of Possible Government Shutdown"Â by Kimberly Schwandt of Fox News:
The Obama administration clarified the scope of the potential government shutdown saying that it would impact about 800,000 employees and stop services like IRS paper filling and returns, and close institutions like the Smithsonian.
A senior administration official also said that military personnel would continue to earn money, however they wouldn't actually receive it until the government is funded again. They'll be receiving full pay checks until April 8.
There are two areas that guide who will stay working. Government activities will stay open that:
1) Have alternative funding - like user fees or appropriations that aren't renewed every year.
2) Are necessary for safety of life and protection of property.
Here's a snapshot of what else stays open and whatÂ closes during this potential shutdown:
â€¢ 800,000 federal employees (the same as 1995)Â the officialÂ says is the "vicinity" of workers who would be affected.
â€¢ Military members will continue get paid throughÂ April 8th, but after that are onlyÂ earning and will get money when the government isÂ funded again.
â€¢ What services will be suspended? IRS filings with paper claims won't be processed and audits will also be stopped. Electronic claims will continue. Small business loans and Federal House Administration mortgages will also be halted. (The official noted that FHA had 12 percent of housing market in 1995, and now it's up to 30 percent)
Complete articles include important information that is not included here. Â
Another excellent resource with even more information is by Ed O'keefe at Federal Eye, entitled "Government Shutdown: Facts and Figures."
I want to know why this administration apparently chose not to keep paychecks going to our Troops serving overseas, in Obama's "Kinetic Military Action?" Did Obama forget he's supposed to be their "Commander In Chief?"