Today the House and Senate briefly came into session and then adjourned until Wednesday, January 2, 2019, without taking any action to address the shutdown. Representative Nanci Pelosi (D-CA), who is expected to be the next Speaker of the House, announced that when the 116th Congress convenes on Thursday, January 3rd, the House plans to take up legislation to reopen agencies by passing full-year funding for six of the seven remaining appropriations bills and a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) for the Department of Homeland Security that would last until February 8th. Included in the package is the Senate-passed 1.9% pay increase (1.4% across the board increase plus 0.5% locality pay) as well as back pay for those employees impacted by the shutdown. However, it is unclear whether the Senate will take up the package or if the White House would support it.
I also wanted to share that Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) sent a letter along with Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), asking that the President reverse his position denying a pay increase for federal employees in 2019. The Senators’ letter went on to say that should the President decline to do so, they will work to ensure that federal workers receive a pay increase in the new year.
As we begin a new year, it is imperative that Congress and the Administration work together to reopen the government, get employees back to work, and ensure that they receive back pay and a pay increase.
I will keep you updated on further developments. For more information, please visit NTEU’s Legislative Action Center.