WASHINGTON (WJZ) — A new bill will now provide back pay for furloughed federal workers, after President Trump signed it into law Wednesday afternoon.
The White House released a bill announcement Wednesday:
“S. 24, the ‘Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019,’ which requires the compensation of government employees for wages lost, work performed, or leave used during a lapse in appropriations that begins on or after December 22, 2018, and entitles excepted employees to use leave during a lapse in appropriations,”
The bill was sponsored by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and three dozen senators, according to Cardin’s office.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), author of the bill, said while the bill will bring some long-term relief to furloughed workers, the government still needs to reopen immediately.
“The promise of back pay will not cover the cost of rent or groceries today. It won’t make a car payment or cover prescriptions. This needless shutdown is having a painful effect on hundreds of thousands of workers, their families, and their communities,” Cardin said in a statement Wednesday.
“For three weeks, I’ve heard from the federal workers that I represent who are worried about how they will make ends meet if this shutdown continues. These hardworking men and women have nothing to do with the political gamesmanship that led to the Trump Shutdown, but they’ve had to pay the price,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen. “Today, the Senate has passed our legislation on a bipartisan basis to provide our federal workforce with the much-needed certainty that they will receive their paycheck when the shutdown ends. But they shouldn’t be without a paycheck at all – they should be at work. Now, we must work together to end this crisis and reopen the government without delay.”