IRS employee Donna Orton (C) holds a sign protesting the government shutdown at the James V. Hansen Federal Building in Ogden, Utah. Photo: Natalie Behring/Getty Images

Hundreds of employees at the Internal Revenue Service are being allowed to skip work, citing a "hardship" provision included in their union contract that allows them to call in absent due to financial challenges causing by a government shutdown, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Just last week, the Trump administration recalled 46,000 of the agency's furloughed workers to process tax refunds without pay. But union officials tell the Post that many workers aren't showing up, which could cause major problems as millions of Americans are expected to begin filing for tax refunds on Jan. 28. Employees who process tax refunds are among the agency's lowest paid, and are likely to miss their second straight paycheck as the shutdown continues into its 33rd day.

Go deeper: All the ways Americans are feeling the effects of the shutdown

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"— COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear themU.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.

Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.

Texas Democrats beg Biden to spend now

Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The Biden campaign is rebuffing persistent pleas from Texas Democrats to spend at least $10 million in the Lone Star state, several people familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: If Texas — which has 38 electoral votes and is steadily getting more blue, but hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976 — flipped to the Biden column, it would be game over. But the RealClearPolitics polling average stubbornly hovers at +2.6 for Trump — and Team Biden appears more focused on closer targets.