Sunday, December 22, 2019
The year is fast drawing to an end and it doesn’t seem like it’s winter this year. It has been unseasonably warmer this year than most and snow came early this year.
Some of us will be with able to attend the holidays with us. And some will not be able to. It’s a time to be glad and grateful for the ones that are with us.
For the Fed employees that work this year in the U.S. there’s a lot to be happy and grateful about. A gov shutdown was averted (and also quite frankly and not surprisingly also not mentioned much in the “news” cycle). A 1.4 trillion spending package was approved late Friday night 12/20/2019. It avoids a shutdown that took effect late last year around December 22, 2018 and lasted for 35 days until January 25, 2019 in what was the longest and record-making shutdowns in U.S. history. The shutdown was over a proposed border solution to slow the progress of immigrants entering that country. It ended up in a stalemate where no one “won” and everyone lost all the way around. However it paved the way for a declaration of a “national emergency” declaration to allow shifting of funds from military to continue construction of a border wall.
To avoid going through this scenario again a bill was drawn up early by the end of last week t enable the House to consider it and pass it over to the Senate also. With other more “supposedly pressing” political issues it doesn’t seem like the U.S. news is making a big deal or splash about the budget issues and wants to concentrate more time and coverage toward other miscellaneous dramatic political issues. If one judges by the coverage in MSM or main stream media that’s given, one would think that there’s a major crisis going on in the country from the news coverage almost every day. But it’s more puffery or bark than bite.
Honestly, the only news that’s more important is that “it’s all about the money”. There was even talk during last year to have an auto funding spending bill that would kick in should future shutdowns arise. But this was not the case nor needed this time. However the ones that suffered the most were the groundlings or the people that are the lower lever movers and shakers. The ones not making the big decisions and the ones just coming in day-to-day workers like you and me ended up being the ones impacted the most. They were furloughed or went without pay for nearly two paychecks putting some of the workers at risk of being behind on mortgage and other household bills. It was such a polarizing factor even several enforcement branches has a thing or two to say about the shutdown. And even some of the workers were chastised and chided for not “having saved enough ahead of time” which is a bit unfair for many who happen to work pay check to pay check or were just a minute hand away from a financial hardship (which anyone can have).
This year workers in essence got reparations in a sense with a 3.1% pay increase which was the largest in recent years since the last couple of years have been under 2%. This is great for workers as they have often lagged behind the private sector and this helps achieve parity and retain competitiveness for hiring workers.
It has been one of the most publically covered and socially commented upon shutdowns in history in large part due to 24/7 media coverage and also thanks to social media which has allowed individuals as well as politicians and the workers themselves to tweet and post on social media to allow live uncensored immediacy and raw data about the situation as it unfolded over 35 days. Many workers’ only source of news included agency web homepages and official social media accounts and also phone contact with management and also evening and afternoon news, CSPAN and other media sites including direct from the executive house’s site.
Many dreaded coming to work but a necessary evil having to fulfill contractual duties but as deemed essential employees but not able to take on second jobs for real income due to ethics regulations and also not being able to sign up for unemployment supplement funds from furlough.
This year’s 2019 $1.4 trillion spending bill was said to be signed en route to Florida and also hails the creation of a new military branch of government called the Space Force in a separate $738 defense bill which attempts to modernize defense of space and its technologies to stay competitive and ahead of other countries. It gives monies to departments such as Agriculture, Energy, Education, Labor and also further pares down or removes many ACA or Affordable Care Act provisions. The separate defense bill that was also signed on December 21st also adds a 12 week paid parental leave.
This is very welcome news to many families that just need stability and steady lives which is what many signed up for when they applied for work as gove employees, etc. There’s a saying. Now news is good news and that’s what happened this December, there was no shutdown news. Thank you for all the hard work and services you render each day to help keep the economy running smoothly. And we wish you a happy, safe, healthy holiday season.
Our site will be taking a few days to celebrate the holiday season as well. Be safe. And take time to check out some of the other article topics as food for thought.