Federal courts have funding to last another week despite shutdown

Federal courts have funding to last another week despite shutdown
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The federal courts are expected to remain fully operational for another week despite the partial government shutdown.

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, an agency within the judicial branch that supports federal courts, estimated Tuesday that it has enough money to sustain paid operations through Jan. 25 – two weeks longer than originally expected after the partial shutdown began.

The agency first estimated they would be forced to cut back on staff starting Jan. 11, but then extended that deadline to Jan. 18. The money has been coming from court fee balances and other funds not dependent on a new appropriation bill.


A spokesperson for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said Tuesday the additional week of funding can be attributed to aggressive efforts to reduce expenditures.

“In recent weeks, courts and federal public defender offices have delayed or deferred non-mission critical expenses, such as new hires, non-case related travel, and certain contracts," the spokesperson said. "Judiciary employees are reporting to work and currently are in full-pay status."

The office said the judiciary is continuing the cost-cutting efforts in the hopes of sustaining operations past Jan. 25, though money will run out at some point in the near future if new funds are not appropriated.


Lawmakers announced Tuesday they will cancel next week's planned recess to continue negotiations if the government remains closed.
If the judiciary runs out of funding, the Administrative Office said federal courts will be forced to operate with only essential staff.
About a quarter of the federal government has been affected by the shutdown that started Dec. 22, including the departments of Justice and Homeland Security, delaying thousands of immigration cases across the country.