A good chunk of government at all levels goes dark during the holidays. Christmas and New Year’s Day offer convenient bookends to use vacation time, and government employees generally receive more generous vacation packages than those found in the private sector.
Take the federal government. General full-time employees start with 13 days of paid leave. When they hit three years of service, annual leave increases to 20 days — the equivalent of four work weeks. At 15 years of service, that goes to 26 days. Keep in mind, the federal government also observes four additional holidays that most private-sector businesses do not.
So it’s no surprise when you call around and get voice mail.
Rep. Kristi Noem’s Washington office rolled into a general voice mail account after several rings. The House, however, isn’t currently in session.
The Senate went back into session today. A voice mail at Sen. Tim Johnson’s Washington office said the office is closed to observe Christmas. It reopens on Wednesday, Jan. 2.
I was expecting voice mail at Sen. John Thune’s office. But a youngish sounding man answered the phone.
So, as we get ready to take the plunge off the fiscal you know what, there are some signs of life in Washington.