Although most U.S. government employees are furloughed until the shutdown is over, some have jobs that are too important to leave undone, like National Weather Service forecasters. However, that doesn't mean that those essential personnel are getting paid. One employee in the NWS Alaska forecast office expressed a displeasure about the situation in a forecast issued on Friday morning.
No complicated cyphers are needed to figure out the message from the anonymous forecaster. The phrase "PLEASE PAY US" is clearly visible down the left-hand column of letters.
Although some employees have jobs that are deemed too important to be left undone during the shutdown, the reason for the shutdown is because the U.S. government didn't pass a new budget to fund the government. That means that until they agree on one, there's no money to run the various government agencies, and those employees that are needed to stay on during the shutdown are doing so without pay.
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The NWS isn't the only organization with essential employees going without pay. NASA has workers coming in to keep the International Space Station and various satellites running and to watch for dangerous asteroids. Also, FEMA, EPA and CDC employees, just to name a few, are on call to respond to natural disasters, environmental emergencies and even disease outbreaks.
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