I am reliably informed that TSA screeners and air traffic controllers are deemed “essential,” so that in the event of a shutdown, they will still be going to work. Same with the military. However, at least in the case of the military, and I assume with other essential services workers, while they will be “getting paid” for their continued work, they will not actually receive paychecks. Presumably they will get some sort of lump-sum payment once we have a budget.
Great. Go to work in your essential job, but you won’t actually be paid for that work until some future time when Congress finally gets its shit together. I know how excited I’d be about dragging my ass into the control tower. (I know, these people will almost assuredly do their work because they believe they are doing important – even essential – jobs. But how long can they go without actual payment before their personal and family expenses mount so high as to be a major distraction?)