The House voted Thursday (January 3) to end the partial government shutdown now two weeks old, but a resolution appeared to still be far off since the White House threatened a veto and the Senate said it would not even take up the issue until Congress produced a measure that President Trump would sign.
The newly Democratic-led House passed two separate measures to restore funding to the nine Cabinet departments and numerous smaller agencies whose funding lapsed December 22, putting about 800,000 employees in non-pay status—slightly more than half of whom continue to work because of the nature of their jobs. One of those bills would fund all affected agencies other than DHS for the full fiscal year at levels set last year by the Senate—then as now under Republican control—while a separate bill would temporarily fund DHS through February 8.
The former measure further contains a 1.9 percent 2019 raise for federal employees and would also assure that employees on unpaid furlough will be paid retroactively as if they had worked. Those who are still working in agencies whose funding has lapsed are guaranteed that they eventually will be paid. However, neither category can be paid until funding authority is restored.
The latter measure does not include the more than $5 billion the administration wants for construction of a southern border wall, and thus actually puts Congress and the White House even further apart on that holdup issue. As one of its last actions under Republican control, the House had passed a temporary funding extension containing those funds but the Senate did not take it up because it could not attract the 60 votes needed for passage there.
Free download: Shutdown and Furloughs, What You Need to Know