Bipartisan Bill Co-Sponsored by Shaheen & Hassan to Protect Federal and Other Government Workers Hurt During Shutdowns Heads to President’s Desk

January 11, 2019

**Shaheen and Hassan urge President Trump to immediately sign legislation into law as more than 800,000 federal workers miss first payday during shutdown**

**Currently, 450,000 federal workers are being forced to work without pay, and another 380,000 federal workers were sent home over the holidays without pay**

(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) issued the following statements after Congress passed bipartisan legislation the Senators reintroduced earlier this week with Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) to protect federal and other government workers from the repercussions of the current government shutdown and future lapses in federal appropriations. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and was approved across party lines in the House of Representatives. The Government Employee Fair Treatment Act would guarantee that furloughed federal employees will be paid retroactively and stipulates that all employees will be paid as soon as possible after the lapse in appropriations ends. The bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. 

Additionally, the bill clarifies that excepted employees who have scheduled previously approved leave occurring during an appropriations lapse may indeed take that leave without undue penalty. These provisions would also apply to employees of the District of Columbia (D.C.) Government, D.C. Courts, and D.C. Public Defenders Service, who are affected by federal government shutdowns. 

“Today hundreds of thousands of federal employees are going to go without paychecks as our nation enters the third week of a government shutdown—that’s unacceptable,” said Senator Shaheen. “While the President continues to refuse to reopen the government, Congress must take action to ensure federal employees are rightfully paid. American workers are being unfairly held hostage by this shutdown, so it’s critical that Congress work to protect and deliver the pay our workers are owed. I hope the President will move swiftly and sign this bill into law. While passing this legislation is a necessary step, I continue to urge Republican leadership in the Senate to allow votes on House-passed, Republican legislation that will end this shutdown and reopen the government.” 

“The President’s senseless shutdown is imposing unnecessary harm on people in New Hampshire and across the country, including our government workers who dedicate their careers to serving their fellow Americans,” said Senator Hassan. “This government shutdown is not their fault, and it is our duty to ensure that any government employee who is not being paid is made whole as soon as appropriations are restored. I urge the President to sign this commonsense, bipartisan bill into law as soon as possible and bring some peace of mind to the federal employees impacted by this shutdown – as well as any future ones.” 

Last week and this week, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan funding legislation to reopen the government. Both Senators Shaheen and Hassan have urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to allow a vote on the bills to reopen the government and end the President’s shutdown. The Senators previously voted in favor of a bipartisan agreement that unanimously passed the Senate in December that would have kept the government open, which the President refused to support.