Dozens of House members proposed legislation Monday that would ensure the full, retroactive compensation of federal workers affected by the partial government shutdown that took place Oct. 1.
Rep. Jim MoranJim MoranHouse Dem: Congress needs 'courage' to call for its own pay raise House may resume work on spending bills next week Bottom Line MORE (D-Va.) proposed the bill, along with nearly 30 House Democrats and three Republicans from Virginia who represent thousands of federal workers — Reps. Scott RigellScott RigellGun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA House Republicans pushing gun control bill Overnight Regulation: Deadlocked court delivers blow to Obama immigration actions MORE, Rob WittmanRob WittmanSupreme Court to review Virginia state voting districts Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns House panel approves Puerto Rico debt relief MORE and Frank WolfFrank WolfLobbying World Overnight Regulation: Supreme Court rejects GOP redistricting challenge Supreme Court rejects GOP challenge to Va. redistricting plan MORE.
The Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, H.R. 3223, would make sure all nonessential federal workers affected by the shutdown receive any pay they missed while out on furlough. This retroactive pay must be approved by Congress, or those workers will remain uncompensated.
"Nearly a million federal workers could lose their pay because Congress failed to do its job and keep the government up and running," Moran said.
"Our hardworking federal workforce — middle-class Americans who support our war fighters, defend our borders, keep our air clean and food safe, care for our veterans, and fulfill many other critical services — should not have to face furloughs," added Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), another sponsor of the bill. "Like so many other Americans, they have mortgages to meet, college tuitions to pay and families to support."
The Obama administration estimates that up to 800,000 federal workers could be furloughed under the shutdown. Supporters of the bill note that, while many of these are concentrated in the Washington, D.C., area, 85 percent of furloughed workers are in other areas of the country.
The shutdown happened after the House insisted that a continuing spending resolution somehow mitigate the effects of ObamaCare, and the Senate insisted on a spending bill that leaves ObamaCare alone.
Both chambers are in Tuesday with nothing else on the schedule except trying to find a way forward, although it was unclear how the deeply divided chambers might compromise.