How the shutdown is reaching a breaking point – POLITICO

(POLITICO) January 1, 2019 — Nine federal departments haven’t received a cent in federal funding in more than a week.

They’ve limped along on leftover money, coasted through the quiet days of the holidays and paid staff with checks already prepped before the lapse.

But all that’s about to end.

Many of the departments and agencies hit by the partial shutdown, which began Dec. 22, have reached a breaking point in their ability to go on with minimal disruption. They are running out of carryover cash and time to prep checks for the midmonth pay period. In a very visible sign of the growing impact of the shutdown showdown, 19 Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will close to the public on Wednesday, their temporary funds exhausted.

While paychecks for federal employees went out Friday after a pay period ended on Dec. 22, workers are left wondering whether they will get their next check on Jan. 11. The pay period for that next check ends on Jan. 5. Pay processing varies from agency to agency.

The Office of Management and Budget said in recent guidance that no federal employee — including those still working without pay — can be compensated for the pay period spanning Dec. 23 to Jan. 5 until the shutdown ends.