Ruppersberger Introduces Bill to Reimburse Federal Workers After Shutdown – With Interest
(Washington, DC) – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger joined Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) today in introducing legislation that would provide federal workers impacted by a government shutdown with back pay – plus interest.
While federal employees impacted by the most recent, 35-day government shutdown will receive compensation for lost wages, many workers were forced to incur additional costs, including fees for late payments on bills and loans. The Back Pay Fairness Act (H.R. 1051) would provide federal workers back-pay with interest matched to the Treasury Prompt Payment policy, the same interest rate federal agencies pay on late payments to vendors and contractors.
The legislation will retroactively apply to all government shutdowns after December 22, 2018, as well as all future shutdowns.
“My hope is that this bill will serve as a deterrent for future shutdowns: never again should our hardworking civil servants be used as political pawns,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “But in the unfortunate event that we experience another government shutdown, this legislation will ensure employees will be able to recover from the painful – and long-lasting – impacts.”
“The Trump shutdown created significant financial insecurity for federal employees. Not only should the government pay back lost wages, it should work to reverse the real economic pain that will extend well into the future,” Congresswoman Sewell said. “When taxpayers owe the federal government, interest accrues on late payments. There should be no difference when the federal government owes its hardworking employees.”
The most recent shutdown affected about 800,000 federal workers across the country, including more than 30,000 here in Maryland at agencies and facilities ranging from Social Security to Fort McHenry.
U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) previously introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Senate.