So federal employees can log onto their work computers this weekend without fear of being thrown into Gitmo. Monday will be just another work day, not a sign-your-furlough-letter-and-go-home day. Not only will the troops and excepted civilians get their regular paychecks, so will everyone else. It all worked out — in the eleventh hour! — and the tea party / Christian right-wing didn’t get to shut down our government after all. For now.
After this past week, I don’t think anyone would be surprised if federal employees — especially the 800,000 or so that were categorized by their departments as non-essential — are suffering a little PTSD, existential or otherwise. But we’re told it’s only going to get worse before it gets better: hang on for next month’s Debt Ceiling Fight, followed by the 2012 Budget Brawl. Apparently, both of these upcoming fights promise to be even worse than what we’ve witnessed for the past six months (or even the past week) with the 2011 Budget.
Maybe for now agencies will be able to continue their “normal operations,” but when pure politics can disrupt so many lives so quickly, how long will it take for the troops, federal employees and the public to feel that things are actually normal?
The long-term deal in hand, lawmakers raced to pass an interim measure to prevent a shutdown, however brief, and keep the federal machinery running for the next several days. The Senate acted within minutes, and even though it took the House longer. White House Budget Director Jacob Lew issued a directive saying that in view of the agreement, “agencies are instructed to continue their normal operations.” — Federal Budget Deal Reached, Government Shutdown Averted At Least Temporarily