Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tried to slam President Donald Trump for the government shutdown and ended up getting called out for spreading “confusing” information.
On Friday evening, Minority Leaders Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) both agreed to send their members home before reaching an agreement with President Trump over the remaining appropriations bills, including funding for the southern border.
Because the remaining 25 percent of the government did not get a budget signed, the U.S. government slid into a partial shutdown that is expected to last beyond Christmas.
Warren was not happy that this happened. She took to Twitter, twice, to express her concern for the public employees.
This shutdown was completely avoidable. Now, hundreds of thousands of federal employees will go without a paycheck over the holidays as @realDonaldTrump throws another temper tantrum over his stupid wall. Republicans’ latest attempt to divide and distract us.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 22, 2018
“Mitch McConnell has put the Senate in recess which means that we can’t do anything until next Thursday. So Bruce [Mann, Warren’s husband] and I are at the airport. We’re going to head out to see family, but golly, I think of all the other families. The hundreds of thousands of families that will not be receiving their paychecks because Donald Trump is having a tantrum. What a bad way to spend Christmas.”
Although Warren’s concern for government employees may be valid, her claim that they won’t get paid before Christmas isn’t.
Russ Vought, Deputy Director for the Office of Management and Budget, called Warren out for spreading “confusion” in an attempt to smear President Trump.
.@SenWarren, this is inaccurate. Federal employees will receive their next paycheck, even under a lapse. Let’s come together over the holidays and secure the border, not spread confusion. https://t.co/gtxyVdjvDp
— Russ Vought (@RussVought45) December 23, 2018
As noted by the Federal News Network, December 22 is the last day of the biweekly pay period for government employees. Meaning, unless they worked on Saturday, they will receive their full paycheck as scheduled before the holiday.
The shutdown will only impact work that was done after December 22. Because December 24 and 25 are holidays, most federal employees will not be working, anyway. If the shutdown lasts beyond Christmas day, which is likely, the work during that pay period would be furloughed and paid after the shutdown ends.
In fact, eligible work done on a holiday is still qualifies for premium holiday pay that will be paid in full upon the government reopening.
Warren also omitted the fact that 75 percent of the government has been funded and all those employees will not be impacted in any way.
As noted by the Washington Post’s Dave Weigle, the employees will receive their normal paycheck on December 28. Democrats will have to either strike a deal with Trump or wait until January 3 when they gain control of the House, changing the power dynamics. If they wait, all work done by government employees won’t be paid until the shutdown ends.
So, Congress is not coming back til December 27. Federal workers get paid on December 28. If you're a Democrat, do you cut a deal that angers your base or wait *six days* for Pelosi to take over and take the border wall out of the deal?
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) December 22, 2018
Although Warren attempted to place the pressure to pay employees at the feet of Trump and the Republicans, the length of the shutdown relies heavily on Democrats’ decision to wait it out or negotiate.