Thousands of area residents working at NASA and other federal jobs face being furloughed Monday after a shutdown triggered Friday when lawmakers failed to approve a spending bill. But how bad it gets depends on how long the impasse lasts in the U.S. Senate, District 14 U.S. Rep. Randy Weber said.

Hurricane Harvey Disaster Recovery Centers will remain open and monetary aid will continue to be dispersed, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials said.

If no deal is reached before Monday, however, many federal employees living in Galveston County likely will be furloughed, including those who work at the Johnson Space Center. That means they’ll be sent home from work without pay, although they might be compensated for that time later.

Only if the shutdown lasts into February will pay become an issue for the military, Weber said. Military employees have their salaries paid through Feb. 1.

“A lot of this will depend on how long the government shutdown goes,” Weber said. “We’re hoping to get things back on track, frankly, quite quickly.”

The U.S. Senate failed to pass a four-week budget extension by midnight Friday, leading to the fourth government shutdown in 25 years, The Associated Press reported.

Although congressional leaders worked late to reach a compromise, Democrats blocked the bill from passing. Democrats wanted certain protections for immigrants who came to the country illegally as children, The Associated Press reported.

Republicans hoped to satisfy the Democrats by reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six more years.

Only essential government operations will continue as a result of the shutdown. Hundreds of thousands of other federal employees will be furloughed if no deal is reached before Monday, according to The Associated Press.

Which employees are furloughed depends on the federal agency and whether their pay comes from the congressional budget, Weber said.

Congress on Saturday met to consider a three-week version of the spending extension, The Associated Press reported.

Many government functions will continue. During the shutdown, people will still receive mail and social security checks, for example.

At Johnson Space Center, the employees who wouldn’t be furloughed are those required to protect life and property, such as mission control employees for the International Space Station, according a memo published Nov. 30, 2017, by NASA’s chief financial officer.

In the most recent government shutdown in 2013, about 800,000 federal employees were told to stay home and were not paid for the days they worked. Those included employees at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Of the 3,056 employees at the space center, only 173 would be excluded from a furlough, according to NASA. Another 400 would be considered “on call.”

Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Robert Howard said many disaster relief employees will continue working regular schedules, because their salaries are funded from the Disaster Relief Fund.

“Employees whose salaries are funded from other than annually appropriated funds, including employees engaged in disaster operations, will be allowed to continue working,” FEMA officials said.

Samantha Ketterer: 409-683-5241; or on Twitter at @sam_kett


(12) comments

PD Hyatt

there has never been a shutdown of the federal government that federal employees did not get a paid vacation out of it....As for contractors, while that would suck, that is part of being a contractor where your pay is here and then you are out looking for another job.... I did that for a very short time and found out that I didn't like that.... As for all of the illegals that might or might not have dreams? Well what about the dreams of our children and grandchildren who have been here and did not cross the border illegally? Why should they be pushed back to the end of the line? What about the ones who came here the right way, or are waiting to come here LEGALLY? Don't they have dreams? There should be no rewards for breaking the law, no matter how it was done....

Ray Taft

Only in the U.S. Senate would the rules allow a minority party to cater to foreigners. Democrats are choosing illegals over Americans. Democrats have chosen to endanger the lives of American citizens and fight for illegals instead! That’s treasonous.

And it’s ridiculous that a Republican-controlled Senate cannot protect Americans. Instead, Republicans stand-by allowing the Democrats to shutdown the government for illegal foreigners. If the Democrats’ Schumer Shutdown continues, Republicans should go to a simple majority rule and vote on a real, long-term budget.

Jim Forsythe

In the past a two-thirds vote was necessary to stop a filibuster (which, today, would be 67 votes) in the Senate. Now it only takes 60. 
The rules were set to not make it easy to govern on purpose. It was set up, so all would have to work together. This is what will happen this year. 

Ray Taft

Your ‘filibuster’ by Democrats is to support illegal foreigners. Democrats are refusing to work with Republicans to fund our government especially the U.S. military as a means of aiding illegal aliens. Schumer and the Democrats are holding America hostage over illegal immigration. Back in 2013, Democrats said it shouldn’t be so.

Hypocritical Democrats are shutting down our government and putting American life’s at risk for illegal foreigners. That is treasonous and not in any way an effort to work with Republicans.

Cary Semar

A person can be "illegal" and still be innocent. Should we punish the innocent in order to afflict the guilty? It would be morally indefensible to punish someone for that which is beyond their control. How much schadenfreude will make you happy?

Jim Forsythe

U.S. military wages is funded until the end of the month, and then will be funded after that time It's not a Democrat filibuster since the vote was not 51 Republicans for, and 49 Democrats against.  Republicans and Democrats are working behind the seen, to come to a compromise solution. You think it is hypocritical and treasonous, not to vote the way you think?

Democrats' trust in the president to negotiate is lower than low: and negotiations hinge on trust.
"Schumer on Sunday said that in the hours before a shutdown, Trump “picked a number for the wall, and I accepted it.”
"It would be hard to imagine a much more reasonable compromise,” he added. “All along, the president saying, ‘Well, I’ll do DACA, dreamers, in return for the wall.’ He’s got it. He can’t take yes for an answer. That’s why we’re here.”
Will rank-and-file Democrats even accept a deal that includes funding for Trump's border wall?

To vote to extend the time for the budget to February 8, is just kicking the can down the road and not solving the problems that got us to this point.
"Reopening the government probably won't solve any of the institutional problems that got Congress in this mess in the first place: debates about where to raise spending, funding for disaster aid, the opioid crisis, partisanship and competing factions within parties. Which means: As soon as we get out of this shutdown, Congress is potentially at risk of another."

Carlos Ponce

"since the vote was not 51 Republicans for, and 49 Democrats against" You forget that Pence can vote but it would have made no difference since SIXTY votes were needed. It's a Democratic obstruction designed to make the president look bad since THERE WAS NOTHING IN THE CR THEY OBJECTED TO!!!!! "Schumer Shutdown" was a good name for it.

Steve Fouga

If they did it to make Trump look bad, it sure as heck worked! For the past 2 weeks leading up to the shutdown, he looked like he couldn't find his butt with both hands.

To me it seemed clear the Dems and Repubs would have found a way to keep the govt open, except for Trumps dithering.

Carlos Ponce

"If they did it to make Trump look bad, it sure as heck worked!" You really think so?
Your Leftist friends think the Dems look bad.
"Democrats get rolled in shutdown standoff"
But the WAPO polls show that those polled blame Republicans. But only partisans believe those biased polls.
You can believe anything you want but after Trump wins in 2020......[beam]

Steve Fouga

My personal opinion was that the Dems should have voted to keep the govt open. I think it's almost criminal to shut the govt down for political reasons, like the Repubs did in 2013. If I had been polled I would have said both sides were responsible.

Still, if a few hours of shutdown can lead to a rational discussion of immigration reform, maybe it was worth it.

Jim Forsythe

"It is not a Democrat filibuster since the vote was not 51 Republicans for, and 49 Democrats against." This refers to the need of 60 votes.
Two Republicans that voted against it and the 6 Democrats that vote for it. This is no longer a party line issue.

Pence would not vote, as either it 's 60 votes, or it is not. No ties are possible.
"President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided."

Jim Forsythe

When will the Senate stop passing ,stop gap spending measure's.  It looks like another can down the road will be passed, and nothing has changed!
Republicans hold the House, Senate, and the White House and its the Democrats fault  How many times In  the past have we had a shut down, when one party holds all three branches of the Government.
The President has not shown his deal making skills.. 
"Trump pledged during the campaign to use his deal-making skills to outsmart and overpower the power structure in Washington and force the elites bend to his will" and has not happen on this .

They were working on a deal, when the President chimes in with 
"Donald J. Trump

CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!
7:37 AM - Jan 18, 2018 ", which made it very hard to complete, what was being worked on.

Democrats and some Republicans voted against a spending bill over concerns about keeping the government funded with one short-term spending bill after another.
Another stop gap spending measure passed the House on Thursday almost entirely along party lines, but it failed in the Senate. Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have insisted on action to preserve protections for people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

"Reopening the government probably won't solve any of the institutional problems that got Congress in this mess in the first place: debates about where to raise spending, funding for disaster aid, the opioid crisis, partisanship and competing factions within parties. Which means: As soon as we get out of this shutdown, Congress is potentially at risk of another."

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