One week ago, the 116th Congress convened. However, the partial government shutdown is now on day 20. As federal employees are now facing the reality of not getting a pay check, NTEU National President Tony Reardon sent a letter to the Senate this morning highlighting how government disfunction is having a real impact on federal employees and urging action to reopen federal agencies and provide employees back pay and a pay increase.
Today, the House continued to pass individual appropriations bills. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, H.R. 265, passed by a vote of 243-182 while the FY 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, H.R. 267, passed 244-180.
Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) went to the Senate floor today seeking unanimous consent to bring up the funding bills passed by the House last week that would reopen federal agencies and provide back pay and a pay increase, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) objected. However, the Senate did pass by voice vote Senator Cardin’s legislation, the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act, S. 24. This bill would ensure that all federal employees are paid promptly following a government shutdown and that those employees who are required to work during a shutdown are allowed to take leave. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) had threatened to object to the Senate adjourning for the weekend, but Senator McConnell announced on the Senate floor that he spoke with President Trump and that he agreed to sign the legislation to pay impacted federal workers, clearing the bill for Senate passage. NTEU has long championed this legislation and appreciates the work of Senators Cardin, Kaine, and the 39 other Senators who cosponsored this legislation. A related bill, H.R. 67, has been introduced in the House by Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA) and Rob Wittman (R-VA).
As the government shutdown ends its third week and employees miss their first paycheck, NTEU will continue to highlight the toll this shutdown it is taking on you and fight to reopen the government and ensure that you are paid.
For more information, please visit the NTEU Legislative Action Center.