Currently, 420,000 federal workers are being forced to work without pay, and another 380,000 federal workers were sent home over the holidays without pay

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Twenty days into the federal government shutdown, the Senate yesterday unanimously passed a bipartisan bill cosponsored by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin to ensure federal and other government workers impacted by the current federal government shutdown will receive their back pay. The Government Employee Fair Treatment Act, led by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Tim Kaine (D-VA), stipulates that all employees shall be paid as soon as possible after the lapse in appropriations ends – this includes those forced to work without pay and those locked out of their jobs during the shutdown.

“About 800,000 federal workers, including nearly 3,000 in Wisconsin, are either furloughed or working without pay during President Trump’s shutdown. These hardworking Americans are suffering because President Trump and Republicans in Congress refuse to support bipartisan legislation to end this shutdown and reopen the government,” said Senator Baldwin. “The House did their job and passed bipartisan legislation to end the President’s shutdown, it’s time for Majority Leader McConnell to stop obstructing a vote in the Senate, and allow us to vote to end this shutdown and reopen the government.”

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. It also clarifies that its provisions also apply to employees of the District of Columbia (DC) Government, D.C. Courts and D.C. Public Defenders Service, who are also affected by federal government shutdowns.

Additional cosponsors of the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act are: Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Robert Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Doug Jones (D-AL), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Senator Baldwin this week joined her colleagues in pressing the Trump Administration to pay federal contractors who are caught in the middle of the President’s shutdown, and to make sure families in Wisconsin and across the country don’t fall behind on bills or risk losing their home. Senator Baldwin is also a cosponsor of the Federal Employee Civil Relief Act to protect federal workers and their families from foreclosures, evictions and loan defaults during a government shutdown.

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