Thanks to negotiations between Congress and the administration, a continuing resolution has been passed to stop the government from shutting down. The deal keeps the federal government open until December 22, and allows the more than 850,000 potentially furloughed working people to continue to serve the American public.
AFGE, which represents more than 700,000 workers in the federal government and the District of Columbia, hailed the deal to keep the government open, but expressed concern about a potential shutdown happening in just a few weeks’ time.
“Thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly to keep the government open. We are cautiously optimistic about the continuing resolution,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. “Failing to fund the government’s operations is beyond unacceptable; it is completely avoidable and a shameful waste of taxpayer dollars. Federal employees want to go to work. They believe in their mission and want to provide quality services to the American people. And now thanks to this continuing resolution, they can.”
Had the government been forced to shut down, a large portion of the civilian workforce – around 850,000 employees – would have been furloughed, while the remainder would have been forced to come to work without pay.
The impact on federal workers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, would have been severe; but the country would have suffered as well. The 2013 shutdown cost the economy $24 billion and 120,000 jobs in the private sector.
Failing to fund the government’s operations has real-world implications for everyone in this country. Federal employees ensure the safety and security of the public at home and abroad, research cures for deadly diseases, keep our air, water, and food safe for consumption, and process benefits for countless seniors, veterans, and disabled Americans every day.