January 07, 2019

Shaheen & Hassan Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Federal and Other Government Workers Hurt During Shutdowns

(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) reintroduced bipartisan legislation with Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) that would protect federal and other government workers from the repercussions of the current government shutdown and future lapses in federal appropriations. The Government Employee Fair Treatment Act would guarantee that furloughed federal employees will be paid retroactively and stipulates that all employees will be paid as soon as possible after the lapse in appropriations ends.

Additionally, the bill clarifies that excepted employees who have scheduled previously approved leave occurring during an appropriations lapse may indeed take that leave without undue penalty. These provisions would also apply to employees of the District of Columbia (D.C.) Government, D.C. Courts, and D.C. Public Defenders Service, who are affected by federal government shutdowns.

The Government Employee Fair Treatment Act previously passed the Senate by unanimous consent in the 115th Congress.

“A government shutdown is bad for our economy and the American people – there are no winners,” said Shaheen. “This legislation will protect federal workers who have been unfairly impacted by this shutdown and ensure that they will be paid. I continue to stand ready to vote on a bill that will re-open the government immediately. It’s absolutely imperative that the President finally engage in good faith negotiations and end this harmful and unnecessary shutdown so federal services for Granite Staters and the American people can resume.”

“Hard-working Americans who dedicate their lives to serving their fellow citizens should not have to suffer because of President Trump’s political games that have resulted in this partial government shutdown,” said Hassan. “This bipartisan bill will guarantee that furloughed government employees impacted by this senseless shutdown and any future ones will be paid retroactively as soon as appropriations are restored. For the well-being of so many government workers, I urge my colleagues across the aisle to support this bill and for the President to sign it into law as quickly as possible.”

Last week, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan funding legislation to reopen the government, which also includes important priorities for New Hampshire. Both Senators Shaheen and Hassan have urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to allow a vote on the bills to reopen the government and end the President’s shutdown. The Senators previously voted in favor of a bipartisan agreement that unanimously passed the Senate in December that would have kept the government open, which the President refused to support.

Joining Senators Shaheen, Hassan, Collins and Cardin as original cosponsors of the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act are: Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Doug Jones (D-AL), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tom Carper (D-DE), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Warner (D-VA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

The full text of the bill is available HERE.

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