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home : news : national news free February 22, 2019

1/17/2019 12:35:00 PM
Shutdown: State Dept. to pay diplomats

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department is telling all U.S. diplomats in Washington and at embassies abroad to return to work starting next week and that they will be paid despite the ongoing government shutdown.

In a notice to staff, the department said it had found money to pay its employees beginning Monday for the next two-week pay period. They will not be paid for time worked since the shutdown began until it ends, according to the notice, which was posted to the department’s website and sent to employees. It was not immediately clear where the money was found, but the department said it had taken steps to “make available additional funds to pay the salaries of its employees, including those affected by the current lapse.”

The department said it was taking the step because it had become clear that the lapse in funding is harming efforts “to address the myriad critical issues requiring U.S. leadership around the globe and to fulfill our commitments to the American people.” It added that the department’s leadership was “deeply concerned” about the financial hardships its employees are facing.

The Democratic-led House has again passed a bill to reopen the shuttered portions of the government, but like its predecessors the measure appears doomed in the GOP-controlled Senate and faces a veto promise from President Donald Trump.

The House passed the measure by voice vote. Thursday’s bill would reopen the government through Feb. 28.

It’s the latest in a series of attempts to reopen the government, but Trump and his GOP allies refuse to go along without funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, insist on reopening the government before negotiating the budget for border security.

Democrats rejected a GOP attempt that would have restored back pay for some 800,000 federal workers who missed a paycheck last week while keeping the government closed going forward.





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