White House estimates 3.5M federal workers will go without pay in government shutdown

Two million of them will be military.

September 29, 2023, 1:13 PM

The White House estimates that 3.5 million federal workers will have to go without pay if the government shuts down. Roughly 2 million of them will be military.

The rough tally comes as House Republicans struggle to push through spending bills that would keep the government open in the new budget year.

Absent a last-minute bipartisan deal, which appears unlikely, federal agencies are expected to curb much of their work and require many employees to work without pay.

In addition to the 2 million military service members, the White House Office of Management and Budget estimates 1.5 million federal civilian employees will go without pay.

About 820,000 of those federal workers will be sent home, or "furloughed."

PHOTO: The U.S. Capitol Building is shown on Aug. 1, 2023 in Washington.
The U.S. Capitol Building is shown on Aug. 1, 2023 in Washington.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The rest of the workforce will be required to show up to work, also without pay. That includes law enforcement, border and prison guards, as well as air traffic controllers.

"What would a shutdown mean? More than 2 million service members wouldn't get their paycheck. Long-term disaster recovery would be further delayed. Nutrition assistance for nearly 7 million women and children who rely on WIC would be jeopardized. Small businesses would lose out on more than $100 million a day in loans," OMB Director Shalanda Young said at Friday's White House press briefing.

"What kind of choice is that?" she added.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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