Today the House of Representatives passed the Senate companion version of legislation offered by Rep. Don Beyer to guarantee back pay to federal employees affected by the partial government shutdown. The House approved the bill with near-unanimous support from both parties.
“This bill is a critical step towards undoing some of the damage caused by the government shutdown,” said Rep. Beyer. “While this legislation will provide federal employees with the certainty that they will eventually be paid, that cannot happen until the shutdown ends. It is vital that the Senate take up the bipartisan legislation which has already passed previously in both chambers to end the shutdown and reopen the government. Every day this continues will do lasting damage to the federal workforce and the country.”
The Senate bill, which has small differences from Beyer’s House legislation but accomplishes the same goals, was introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD). It passed in the Senate by unanimous consent on Thursday night after Virginia Senator Tim Kaine worked out an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the bill to the Senate Floor. McConnell said that he had spoken with President Trump about the legislation, and been assured that Trump would sign it.
While the legislation which passed Congress today would cover only employees on the government payroll, Beyer is also a cosponsor of a bicameral bill introduced in the House by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton to grant back pay to federal contractors.