Senate Unanimously Passes Collins, Cardin Bill to Ensure Federal Workers Affected by Shutdowns Receive Retroactive Pay

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. – Today, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation authored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) that would protect federal and other government workers from the repercussions of the current and future lapses in federal appropriations. 

Last week, the Senators were joined by 28 Senate colleagues in reintroducing the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act, legislation that would guarantee that furloughed federal employees will be paid retroactively and stipulates that all employees shall be paid as soon as possible after the lapse in appropriations ends. The legislation now moves to the House of Representatives before being sent to the President.  On the Senate floor earlier today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that President Trump assured him that he would sign the bill into law.

The Government Employee Fair Treatment Act previously passed the Senate by unanimous consent prior to Christmas in the 115th Congress.

“The partial government shutdown represents a failure to govern and harms not only those who need to interact with the closed agencies, but also hundreds of thousands of federal employees and their families who don’t know when they will receive their next paycheck,” said Senator Collins.  “Civil servants bring dedication, competence, and experience to their work, and I appreciate all that they do for our government and our nation.  Our legislation would guarantee that they are paid retroactively as soon as appropriations are restored.  I am also continuing to discuss with the White House and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle ways to bring an end to the shutdown as quickly as possible so that furloughed federal employees can return to work.”

Senators who co-sponsored Senators Collins and Cardin’s legislation include: Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Robert Casey (D-Pa.), Angus King (I-Maine), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.).

Click HERE for the text of the bill.