The federal government is open. Now what? The Office of Management and Budget issued Oct. 17 guidelines for federal workers this morning on how to proceed now that the shutdown has ended.
“Today, the president signed a continuing resolution that brings employees back to work and reopens many government functions,” the memorandum, signed by Sylvia M. Burwell, director of the OMB, said.
Furloughed workers were instructed to return to work on the morning of Oct. 17, and offices have been instructed to open in a “prompt and orderly manner.”
The memo comes as a sigh of relief for many federal workers, who were not receiving pay during the 16-day shutdown. According to a survey taken during the shutdown by the National Treasury Employees Union, 84 percent of federal workers who responded had to cut back on necessities to make ends meet. A staggering 48 percent were delaying medical treatment to save money during the shutdown.
The shutdown officially ended after President Barack Obama signed the bill to open the government and raise the debt ceiling. The House and Senate hastily passed the bill yesterday after Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reached a deal yesterday morning.
The bill passed the Senate, 81-17, and the House, 285-144. The deal only keeps the government open until mid-January and raises the debt ceiling until Feb. 7. Political experts have already begun to ponder what will happen as the new year approaches.