Friday, October 4, 2013

Two Laws Moving in Congress to Pay Furloughed Feds Retroactively - Call Them Now!

This from Bloomberg -Law: Federal Workers Would Receive Back Pay For Shutdown Under New Measure

Note: Word is the House version of this law (HR3223) may be voted on in the U. S. House of Representatives Saturday. Contact your local reps, Steve Stockman 202-225-1555 and Randy Weber 202-225-2831 and Sen. (ad hoc Speaker of the House) Ted Cruz 202-224-5922, early Saturday to let them know the 3,300 local federal space workers would like to stop the shutdown and get paid for the work they were ready to accomplish.

By Louis C. LaBrecque
Oct. 1 –About 800,000 federal civilian employees who have been told not to report to work because of the partial government shutdown that began Oct. 1 would receive retroactive pay for the duration of the shutdown under legislation introduced in the House Sept. 30 and the Senate Oct. 1.

Under the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act–which was introduced in the House as H.R. 3223 by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), along with a group of 32 original co-sponsors, including both Democrats and Republicans–all federal employees would receive retroactive pay for the duration of the federal government shutdown, regardless of individual furlough status.

The legislation is necessary, Moran said in a joint Oct. 1 statement with some of the House bill’s co-sponsors, because federal employees who are furloughed during the shutdown will not get paid for the duration of the shutdown unless Congress specifically authorizes retroactive pay.

The lead sponsor of the Senate measure, which at press time had not been assigned a bill number, is Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). The text of the House and Senate bills is identical.

Congress ‘Failed to Do Its Job’

“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 in the joint statement from the House members.

“Leaving the question of retroactive pay for furloughed employees, already shouldering much of the burden of sequestration, up to this highly divisive Congress is deeply concerning. Today’s bipartisan proposal shields family pocketbooks from partisan politics and reaffirms our commitment to our federal employees,” he added.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in the statement called it “unacceptable that Congress’s failure to reach a responsible agreement to fund the government will force federal workers to stay home without pay rather than serve the American people.”

“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,” Hoyer said.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) added that Congress has provided federal employees with retroactive pay following previous government shutdowns.

“We should follow past precedent and retroactively pay our beleaguered federal employees who face furlough if the federal government shuts down on Oct. 1,” she said.

According to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), employees at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Marshals Service “shouldn’t be punished because the Congress couldn’t get its job done.”

“They should be properly compensated for the hard work they do to make our nation a safer and better place,” Wolf said in the joint statement.

Although the Washington metropolitan region is home to the highest concentration of federal workers in the country, 85 percent of federal workers live outside the region, the joint statement said.

See the rest of the Bloomberg Law article.

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