While there was still some hope of preventing a government shutdown yesterday, Gerry Connolly sent a letter out to his colleagues reminding them of what's at stake -- literally thousands of jobs in almost every Congressional District. Then today Gerry signed on as a co-sponsor when Rep. Jim Moran introduced a bill (H.R. 1429) that would make sure all federal employees would be paid retroactively after the shutdown. Although the furloughed employees did get eventually get their pay after the last shutdown in the 90's, reports have made it clear that Congress would need to pass legislation making this happen.
"If the government shuts down, nearly a million federal employees will go without pay," Moran said in a statement. "Despite what happened in the mid-90s, I'm deeply concerned furloughed employees won't get retroactive pay. If we shut down, it won't be the federal employee's fault and they shouldn't be penalized for Congress' failure to act, particularly when members of Congress will continue to receive their pay."With about 100,000 federal employees in the DC area, it shouldn't be surprising that folks from Northern Virginia really want to see this passed. Even though there are federal workers throughout the country, however, the way the debate has been heading during the last few days suggests that this bill would actually be able to pass. That is why Moran, Connolly, and the other members who are standing up for the federal workforce need to be praised and deserve our support.
Federal employees, including military service members, would not receive a paycheck during a shutdown. Those required to work during the hiatus (both military and civilian) would receive pay retroactively once funding is restored.The last time the government shut down in 1995 and 1996, for 27 days at an overall cost of $1.4 billion, furloughed federal employees were paid retroactively for the time they were off the job. But Congress must approve back pay for employees subject to furlough.