Federal Shutdown Begins Impacting San Angelo
SAN ANGELO, TX — Most federal government employees in San Angelo are still at work on day 21 of the partial federal government shutdown but some are missing paychecks Friday.
For example, according to the Federal Court system in the Northern District of Texas which includes San Angelo, approximately 400 people are employed by the Northern District of Texas throughout its seven divisional offices. These include persons employed in the:
- chambers of the judges serving the district court and bankruptcy court,
- district clerk's offices and the bankruptcy clerk's offices; and
- the probation and pretrial services offices.
Payments to local attorneys appointed to represent defendants under the Criminal Justice Act were suspended on December 24, and over 100 cases have been stayed pursuant to the government's requests for stay due to the lapse in appropriations.
If the shutdown continues beyond the day the fee income and no-year balances run out, courts could only operate normally through Jan. 11 which is today. Some of the things that will negatively impact the communities in the Northern District include delayed payments to jurors and reduced services, such as substance abuse and mental health treatment, to people on probation or supervised release. Staff will be reporting to work next week as usual.
Friday is the first day approximately 800,000 federal employees nationwide will go without a paycheck.
Some Internal Revenue Service federal employees in San Angelo have been furloughed as well as a few who work for the Food and Drug Administration.
Some federal workers have had to apply for unemployment benefits and take out loans to make ends meet; while others have had to cancel trips and scale back spending in other ways.
Statistics provided by the Department of Labor showed that 4,760 federal employees filed for unemployment benefits in the last week of December, an increase of 3,831 from the 929 who applied the week before.
The partial shutdown of the federal government began on Dec. 22, after Trump requested $5.7 billion in funding for border security and construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico—a proposal Democrats vowed to block. House Democrats have moved bills that would fund government agencies but not Trump's border wall funding request.
According to the Office of Management and Budget there are approximately 4.2 million federal employees and only 800,000 or roughly 19 percent will not receive a paycheck Friday.
Postal employees and members of the military will continue to be paid at this time. The National Parks Service is the most visible department where the partial shutdown can be seen. According to reports, Big Bend National Park remains open but there bathroom facilities are closed and trash is not being picked up. There are no National Parks in the San Angelo area.
The federal government has also deemed the Customs and Border Patrol as essential personnel so the local office is still functioning as is the National Weather Service office in San Angelo.
The U.S. House passed a bill Friday that would reopen the government but the Senate adjourned without taking action. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has said they will not pass a bill President Trump will not sign.