The House passed legislation Friday guaranteeing back pay for federal employees after the government reopens. The legislation was passed by the Senate on Thursday. President Trump has indicated he will sign the bill into law.
Our bill to provide back pay to federal workers impacted by the shutdown just passed the House and is headed to the President’s desk, wrote Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) Friday on Twitter. “But as hundreds of thousands of federal employees get a paycheck for $0 today, they cannot afford to wait. Time to end the shutdown!”
Friday was the first day that more than 800,000 federal employees missed a paycheck due to the partial government shutdown that started Dec. 22.
“With lawmakers admitting there is no end in sight to this shutdown, furloughed and unpaid working federal employees can take some comfort in knowing that Congress has passed legislation providing them with back pay once this political nightmare is over,” said National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association National President Ken Thomas. “Yet, even that is not an immediate solution. Federal employees are scrambling to make arrangements for unpaid bills, including tapping their retirement accounts. Evictions are becoming a real possibility, medical issues go untended, local economies are suffering and services to citizens have ceased as workloads pile up.”
“We turn to elected officials to make tough decisions with a thorough understanding of how policies, government programs and laws affect the public,” Thomas continued in a statement. “At a time when the Trump administration touts positive economic gains, this shutdown – about to be the longest in history – has gone on long enough. The time is past for resolving this. For the good of our country, lawmakers must put aside political differences and find a mutually agreeable path forward that will allow federal employees to do what they do best: serve the American people.”