Today congressional leaders met with President Trump to discuss re-opening the government. Reports are that little progress was made and that the President indicated the government shutdown might continue for months or even through the fiscal year. Further talks are expected over the weekend.
Legislation to re-open government has been sent from the House to the Senate. While additional senators have announced their support for the House bill, no floor consideration has been scheduled by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
This afternoon NTEU National President Tony Reardon spoke with Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) along with other federal employee group representatives. Tony related to them the growing concern of affected members about our financial security while the needed work of our agencies is not being done. Tony also stressed how important it is for the government to re-open, that both employees working without pay and those who are furloughed receive prompt back pay, and that all employees receive a pay increase for 2019. As previously reported, Senator Cardin reintroduced his legislation, the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act, S. 24, which is cosponsored by Senator Van Hollen and 28 Senators. This bill would guarantee that furloughed federal employees are paid retroactively and stipulates that all employees shall be paid as soon as possible after the lapse in appropriations ends. The bill also clarifies that excepted employees who have scheduled previously approved leave occurring during an appropriations lapse may indeed take that leave without undue penalty.
On this 14th day of the government shutdown, NTEU is continuing to work with government leaders, sharing our stories, and urging them to bring this shutdown to an end. Action is needed to ensure that all employees are paid promptly and that government services are restored for the American people.
I will keep you updated on further developments. For more information, please visit the NTEU Legislative Action Center.