Federal payments, mail continue in Malheur County despite shutdown

The Enterprise

VALE – With brinkmanship continuing in Congress, Malheur County may have a hard time detecting the impact locally of the government shutdown.

Mail service will continue. Payments for Social Security, unemployment and other federal benefits will still flow out. Essential services such as law enforcement and immigration will continue.

The latest state employment figures show the county has about 235 federal employees who earn on average $1,037 a week. They are a small part of Malheur County's total labor force of about 12,300.

The biggest federal employer in the county is the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, with 200 workers operating from the district office in Vale.

The Farm Services Agency, which operates a branch in Ontario, also was to be closed until Congress could approve more federal funding.

According to the federal Office of Management and Budget, that agency’s employees were . . .