Federal workers officially missed their second paycheck on Friday as the partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, dragged into its 35th day.
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It became probable earlier in the week that workers wouldn't be paid when, on Tuesday, President Trump and Congress remained at a stalemate over how much money to delegate to a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, keeping about one-fourth of the government closed as a result of the funding impasse.
While there’s no uniform timeline, a White House official said that for the majority of people affected by the lapse, paychecks need to start being processed by Tuesday in order for workers to receive them by Friday. Because there was no deal by midnight on Tuesday, a majority of employees will not receive the money on their usual payday, according to Hogan Gidley, White House deputy press secretary.
Although employees are guaranteed back pay once the shutdown ends thanks to a bill signed by Trump, it takes at least two to three days for the government to process payroll, according to an official for the American Federation of Government Employees union, so it’s unclear when exactly workers would receive that money.
A spokesperson for the Office of Personnel Management told FOX Business that retroactive pay for furloughed and excepted workers will be processed and paid "as quickly as possible" after the funding lapse ends. Depending on when appropriations are enacted within the worker's pay cycle, missed paychecks could be issued separately or in conjunction with the other paycheck for that particular pay period, according to the spokesperson.
When the government first shut down, due to a quirk in federal statutes that doesn’t allow furloughs to last longer than a month, the nine agencies affected by it sent a notice to employees that the furlough was not expected to exceed 30 days and would expire on Jan. 21.
“When the shutdown furlough goes beyond 30 days, agencies should treat it as a second shutdown furlough and issue another adverse action or furlough notice,” the OPM wrote.
And there’s still no end in sight to the shutdown: This week, two competing bills in the Senate that would have reopened the government -- one with Trump's border wall, and one without it -- failed to pass.