President Trump is being as active as he can amid a government shutdown to help those workers who would otherwise go without pay. The shutdown has effectively closed 25 percent of the government and furloughed those employees.
Per the Washington Examiner, the president personally intervened to make sure members of the Coast Guard were paid while the government is shut down.
“Concerned about U.S. Coast Guard forces losing a paycheck in the partial government shutdown, President Trump personally urged his team to find a solution that would allow the administration to make this week’s $75 million payroll, according to officials,” the Washington Examiner reports.
According to the report, Trump’s personal plea for lawmakers and staffers in his administration to find money for the Coast Guard members was effective as they will continue to get paid amid the shutdown.
The Coast Guard is uniquely affected by the shutdown because it is not included under the umbrella of the Department of Defense. The Coast Guard operates under the Department of Homeland Security, parts of which have run out of funding because of the shutdown.
“At his urging, the Office of Management and Budget, DHS and the Coast Guard determined that the rules governing pay to Coast Guard forces requires it to be made through the end of the year. To make it, the lawyers said that unused funding could be tapped for pay. The service had a bit more than the needed $75 million left over from its past continuing resolution appropriation, enough to make this month’s last payroll check,” the Washington Examiner reports.
An All-Hands blog from the Coast Guard specified the pay covers the December 15 pay period but does not necessarily guarantee money for the January 1st pay period:
Will Coast Guard members get paid on Dec. 31? Yes, the Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Coast Guard have identified a way to pay our military workforce on Dec. 31, 2018. This one-time action applies to military members that served on active duty in the month of December and those reserve military members that drilled prior to the lapse in appropriation.
- If you were an active duty military member in December, then you will receive your monthly paycheck on Dec. 31, 2018. That paycheck will include all of the normal pay and allowance benefits (e.g. basic pay, BAH, BAS, etc.).
- If you were a reservist that served on active duty during the month of December, you will also receive your monthly paycheck on Dec. 31, 2018 and it will include all of your normal pay and allowance entitlements.
- Finally, if you were a reservist that conducted reserve training prior to Dec. 21, 2018, then you will receive the appropriate pay and allowance entitlements on Dec. 31, 2018.
Will I get paid on Jan. 15? This approval only covers the Dec. 31, 2018 paycheck. It does not guarantee a paycheck on Jan. 15, 2019. Meeting active duty and reserve military payroll for January 2019 will require a fiscal year 2019 appropriation, a continuing resolution, or passage of an alternative measure.
Why the change from earlier guidance that indicated the Coast Guard military members would not be paid on Dec. 31? Generally, the Coast Guard lacks the authority to pay its members during a lapse in appropriations. The circumstances of this lapse are unique because of the timeline of the lapse in relation to the military pay process. Ultimately, extensive research and legal analysis between the Coast Guard, DHS, and OMB determined the Coast Guard has the authority to execute the remainder of pay and allowances for December.
Will retirees get paid? Retirees will get paid Dec. 31. However if this lapse in appropriations continues into February, they may not get paid their future installments. VA payments should not be affected by this lapse in appropriations.
As Senate Democrats continue to oppose the president’s border wall funding, Trump is helping alleviate the financial burden a government shutdown can impose on furloughed employees.
“The president is trying to make the shutdown as painless as possible for workers, and this case proved it,” said an official via the Washington Examiner.
“This is outstanding news for our military workforce,” Vice Commandant Adm. Charles Ray said in an email to Coast Guard forces, also per the report.
So, where are the Democrats working to help the government?