Shutdown Bills to Pay Furloughed Federal Employees, Deny Congress Pay
Two bills that are diametrically opposite have been introduced in Congress as the clock counts down towards the Oct 1 federal government shutdown. One bill seeks to ensure federal pay for furloughed Federal Employees, while the other one seeks to deny pay for members of Congress during the shutdown.
- 2035, the Federal Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2015, was introduced by U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and other Democrats in the Senate. This bill requires that all federal workers furloughed as a result of any lapse in appropriations that may begin as soon as October 1st will receive their pay retroactively as soon as is practicable.
“Our tasks here in Congress are simple – not easy, perhaps, but simple: we need to keep the government open for business across the country and keep federal workers on the job,” said Sen. Cardin.
The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) has endorsed this legislation. NTEU National President Tony Reardon said that “Sen. Cardin’s proposal would treat federal employees fairly in the event of a government shutdown. Employees who are furloughed or forced to work without pay during a shutdown shouldn’t be punished because they didn’t create the problem.”
Bill Would Make Congress Work Full-Time Without Federal Pay During Shutdown
The other bill is H.R. 3562 – the No Government-No Pay Act of 2015, introduced in the House by Congressman Rick Nolan, who represents the 8th District of Minnesota.
“This legislation would require the Congress to work full time – with no salary – during any government shutdown until they pass a bill to fund our government and pay the public employees who go to work on our behalf every day,” said Nolan.
Nolan introduced a similar bill before the October 2013 shutdown that furloughed more than 800,000 federal employees for 16 days. Nolan donated his salary during that time to charities in Minnesota’s 8th District.