Four Democratic Senators from Virginia and Maryland introduced legislation Friday that would restore pay for federal workers furloughed during a government shutdown.
Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb and Maryland Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin co-sponsored the legislation, which would reimburse an estimated 800,000 furloughed federal workers, many of whom live in the states the Senators represent but work in Washington, D.C.
Congress must pass such a bill or else furloughed employees, and even those deemed essential, would not be paid in the event of a shutdown.
“Federal employees who were furloughed through no fault of their own should be paid,” Mikulski said in a statement. “Dedicated civil servants should not be scapegoats for the decisions of politicians. They should be paid retroactively and I believe they should be paid in a timely way.”
The legislation doesn’t provide a timeframe within which employees would have to be paid, but rather states that it should happen “as soon as practicable after such lapse in appropriations ends.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.