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OMB: Reductions in Federal Workforce Not Likely to Occur Amid Gov’t Shutdown

The Office of Management and Budget confirmed that federal agencies won’t be required to consider targeted layoffs when the ongoing government shutdown extends to more than 30 days, Federal News Network reported Tuesday.

OMB said that shutdown furloughs, also known as emergency furloughs, are not covered by reductions-in-force regulations. These regulations require agencies to terminate targeted groups of employees who have been placed on furlough status for 30 days or more. The partial government shutdown has been ongoing for more than 25 days.

The Office of Personnel Management clarified that RIFs only occur in situations controlled by agencies, such as administrative furloughs aimed at downsizing due to reduced funding, lack of work or any budget situation. OPM noted that RIFs are not applicable during government shutdowns as such situation have an indefinite duration and relies entirely on congressional action not on an agency.

House lawmakers are expected to vote on several bills to end the current shutdown and temporarily fund closed federal agencies this week.

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin D-Md., author of the S. 24 Government Employee Fair Treatment Act, issued the following statement in response to President Trump signing the bill into law.

“Twenty-six days into the federal government shutdown, we are bringing some long-term relief to furloughed workers, but we still need to reopen the government immediately. The promise of back pay will not cover the cost of rent or groceries today,” said Cardin. “It won’t make a car payment or cover prescriptions. This needless shutdown is having a painful effect on hundreds of thousands of workers, their families and their communities.

Federal workers are dedicated public servants who shouldn’t continue to suffer. Many of them are working dangerous jobs without knowing when their next paycheck may come, he added.” Many others are being forcibly furloughed and unable to carry out their mission – because of the government shutdown. Now that we are guaranteeing pay to the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who have been locked out of their jobs, let’s reopen the government and get them all back to work so American taxpayers can receive the services they need and are paying for. Only once the government is open again, can we have a reasonable discussion about border security and the issues at the heart of the current shutdown.

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