420,000 Feds Have to Work Without Pay Under Trump Shutdown

Categories: The Insider

Nearly 420,000 federal employees will have to work without pay if President Trump decides to shut down the government on Dec. 22. 


The current funding measure will keep the government running through Dec. 21. President Trump has said he would be “proud” to shut down the government if he doesn’t get $5 billion from Congress to build a border wall. If the shutdown happened, it would be the third in 2018, disrupting work and pay for hundreds of thousands of federal workers in the middle of the holiday season.  


While hundreds of thousands of employees would be locked out of work, a large number of federal employees will still show up for work to keep our government running. They just have to work without pay. According to new numbers from the office of Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, we’re talking 420,000 employees. A few examples:  


41,000 law enforcement officers   

  • 2,614 ATF agents 

  • 16,742 Bureau of Prisons correctional officers 

  • 13,709 FBI agents 

  • 3,600 deputy U.S. Marshals 

  • 4,399 DEA agents 


158,000 Department of Homeland Security employees 

  • 53,000 TSA Employees; 

  • 54,000 Customs and Border Protection agents and customs offers; 

  • 42,000 Coast Guard employees 

  • As many as 5,000 Forest Service Firefighters 

  • 3,600 Weather Service Forecasters 


More than 380,000 employees will be locked out of work without pay 

A few examples: 

  • 86% of the Department of Commerce (about 41,000 employees), 

  • 96% of NASA (about 16,700 employees) 

  • More than 80% of the National Park Service (about 16,000 employees) 

  • At least 80% of the Forest Service (approximately 28,800 employees) 

  • More than 30% of the Department of Transportation (about 18,300 employees) 

  • 95% of the Housing and Urban Development (about 7,100 employees) 

  • About 52,000 IRS employees 


In addition, nine out of 15 Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies will close. Small businesses, farmers, homeowners, low-income children, and rural communities are among the people who would be affected. See the full list here. 

Our union is urging President Trump to work with Congressional leadership to ensure federal workers don’t ‘get left out in the cold this holiday season. 


“Congress and the President should not hold agency funding hostage to controversial policies unrelated to the budget,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “We call upon them to pass a full-year funding bill that includes the modest pay adjustment for federal employees already agreed to by the Senate.” 


Cox added that our members take home an average of around $500 each week. Any interruption in their pay will have a devastating impact on them, their families, and their communities. TSA officers, Border Patrol agents, correctional officers, and other federal law enforcement officers will continue to put their lives on the line whether they receive their paychecks or not, and this prospect alone should motivate Congress and the administration to do their work.  


“Our members are asking how they are supposed to pay for rent, food, and gas if they are required to work without a paycheck,” Cox said. “The holiday season makes these inquiries especially heart-wrenching.”

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