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Shutdown Watch–Day 9

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Good morning! For several hundred thousand federal employees, it’s another day of unpaid time off with-once again—no end on the horizon as President Obama, House Republicans and Senate Democrats all remain seemingly dug into their respective positions.

There’s also no immediate sign that Congress is going to give final passage to legislation that would ensure retroactive pay for furloughed feds once the shutdown ends. After Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, signaled objections to fast-track consideration of the back-pay bill passed by the House on Saturday, the House GOP leadership tried again yesterday, linking a separate back-pay measure to legislation that would create a bipartisan “working group” to examine spending and debt issues.

That idea immediately drew comparisons to the congressional ”supercommittee,” whose failure to clinch a long-term deficit reduction agreement two years ago triggered the budget sequester that took effect in March. Although the two-bill package quickly passed the Republican-run House yesterday, there’s next to no chance that the Democratic-controlled Senate will take it up, particularly after the Obama administration issued a veto threat.

In other news, some CIA employees are going to back to work today, according to the announcement by the agency’s director, John Brennan. Last week, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, made waves by telling a congressional committee that some 70 percent of the intelligence community workforce was furloughed. Some of those employees have since gone back to work as part of the Defense Department recall announced Saturday. Unlike the DoD folks, who are covered by the Pay Our Military Act, the CIA staffers won’t be paid until after the shutdown ends, Brennan’s announcement indicates.

Any major developments we’ve missed, particularly in regard to agency news? Let us know with an email to shutdownstories@federaltimes.com.

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