Today. the stalemate over reopening the government continued. President Trump hosted a meeting at the White House with congressional leaders to discuss the government shutdown, which ended abruptly without resolution.
Following House passage last week of legislation to reopen all shuttered federal agencies, the House passed the stand-alone Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill (H.R. 264) by a vote of 240 to 188. The bill text is identical to what passed the Senate last year and contains a 1.9 percent pay raise for federal workers and back pay for employees impacted by the government shutdown. The Senate has yet to bring up any legislation to reopen the government.
Also today, Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) along with 22 lawmakers introduced the Federal Employee Civil Relief Act. Modeled after the Servicemembers Relief Act, the Schatz-Kilmer legislation would prohibit landlords and creditors from taking action against federal workers or contractors who are hurt by the government shutdown and unable to pay rent or repay loans. The bill would also empower federal workers to sue creditors or landlords that violate this protection. The Federal Employee Civil Relief Act would safeguard workers impacted by a shutdown from the following:
- Being evicted or foreclosed;
- Having their car or other property repossessed;
- Falling behind in student loan payments;
- Falling behind in paying bills; or
- Losing their insurance because of missed premiums.
The protection would last during and 30 days following a shutdown to give workers a chance to keep up with their bills.
People who took an oath to serve their country as federal employees should not have to worry about being evicted or going further into debt because of a government shutdown. NTEU supports the Schatz-Kilmer effort as the government shutdown drags on. NTEU is continuing to share your stories and the serious consequences of this shutdown as we fight to reopen agencies.
For more information, please visit the NTEU Legislative Action Center.