The Government Employee Fair Treatment Act introduced last week by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) passed unanimously Thursday in the Senate. President Trump indicated he would sign it if Congress passes the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday, “I had an opportunity to talk to President Trump a few moments ago and wanted to indicate to our colleagues that he will sign the bill that we’ve been discussing here to guarantee that government workers who’ve been displaced as a result of the shutdown will ultimately be compensated, and so I want to ease their anxiety about that particular possibility.”
The legislation would guarantee that furloughed federal employees will be paid retroactively and stipulates that all employees shall be paid as soon as possible after the lapse in appropriations ends.
The bill also clarifies that excepted employees who have scheduled previously approved leave occurring during an appropriations lapse may indeed take that leave without undue penalty. It also applies to employees of the District of Columbia (DC) Government, D.C. Courts, and D.C. Public Defenders Service, who are also affected by federal government shutdowns.