Bipartisan Pair Pushes for Federal Pay in Shutdown

Federal workers protested at the Capitol in 2013 to call on lawmakers to end the government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With just over a week until the government funding deadline, one Democrat and one Republican are banding together to ensure federal workers aren't adversely affected by a shutdown.  

Virginia lawmakers Don Beyer Jr., a Democrat, and Rob Wittman, a Republican, circulated a letter to their House colleagues Tuesday, urging them to co-sponsor a bill that would guarantee any workers who are furloughed or continue working during a shutdown would receive retroactive pay. Beyer and Wittman represent roughly 12o,000 federal workers combined. "Preferably, Congress will reach an agreement to enact legislation to fully fund the government and allow our dedicated federal workforce to continue to carry out its critical mission," Beyer and Wittman wrote in the letter, obtained by CQ Roll Call. "In absence of such agreement and with time running dangerously short, federal employees should be assured that there is agreement in Congress that they will receive their full pay in a fair and timely manner."  

The lawmakers plan to introduce the bill next week and already have 24 co-sponsors on their legislation. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate last week.  

The lawmakers who represent federal workers argue workers should not become a pawn in the partisan politics of a shutdown. Federal workers faced uncertainty about their salaries and benefits throughout the 2013 shutdown, though back pay was eventually incorporated into the legislation that reopened the government.

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