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House/Senate Bills Would Pay Shutdown Workers

From the Washington Post:

House and Senate bills would pay federal workers for shutdown furloughs

By Josh Hicks | October 3, 2013

House and Senate lawmakers this week proposed legislation to retroactively pay the roughly 800,000 federal workers who are furloughed because of the partial government shutdown that started Tuesday.

The House back-pay measure could be up for a floor vote as early as Saturday, according to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who introduced the bill on Tuesday along with sponsor Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.). As of Thursday, 120 lawmakers, including 18 Republicans, had added their names to the measure.

“Everyone I’ve talked to about this bill seems to be for it,” Wolf said Thursday of his colleagues in the House.

All of the Republicans who co-sponsored the House measure are from Virginia, a state with a high concentration of federal workers. They include Wolf and Reps. Rob Wittman, Scott Rigell and Randy Forbes.

On the Senate side, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) has proposed nearly identical back-pay legislation, with 15 Democrats, including Sens. Barbara Mikulski (Md.), Mark Warner (Va.) and Tim Kaine (Va.), co-sponsoring the bill…

Doesn’t it bring a tear to your eye to see such bi-partisan agreement on the truly important things?

Labor groups have commended the two back-pay measures…

Ya think?

Several… GOP lawmakers this week expressed reservations about the back pay because of the national debt.

“I think it’s way too early to even consider that, but again, we’re $7 trillion more in the hole now than we were [during the shutdowns in fiscal 1996],” Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) told the Huffington Post on Wednesday. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) voiced similar concerns, according to the report…

Gosh, Republicans are evil.

Congress has granted back-pay to furloughed federal workers after each of the past 16 shutdowns that have taken place since 1976…

What’s this? Do our eyes deceive us? This is the first time we have ever seen this reported anywhere before.

Meanwhile, we have this from the New York Times:

Furloughed Employees Hold Shutdown Parties

By ALYSON KRUEGER | October 2, 2013

On Tuesday evening, approximately 15 furloughed government employees gathered in the Port Tobacco, Md., home of Ashley Brincefield, a 29-year-old federal employee who works for Customs and Border Protection, for what Ms. Brincefield called a “survive the government shutdown party." …

For Ms. Brincefield and some of the roughly 800,000 other furloughed government workers, impromptu shutdown parties proved one way to take advantage of the lights going off in the nation’s capital…

Invitations to private furlough lunches and poker tournaments have also been swirling online. “The thing that is going to be different with this shutdown rather than last shutdown is, we have social media now,” Ms. Walker said, referring to the stoppages during the Clinton administration. “So I think that we are going to see people organize a little more effectively.”

Many bars, restaurants and clubs in Washington and elsewhere were also taking advantage of the shutdown with extended hours and discounts for furloughed federal employees.

Capitol Lounge, a popular after-work spot on Pennsylvania Avenue, was giving away beer to any patron with a government ID on Tuesday…

Urbana, a chic wine bar in Dupont Circle, extended its happy hour specials by one hour for each day the government shutdown lasts…

In St. Paul, Minn., four bars — Liffey, Burger Moe’s, Tom Reid’s, and Eagle Street Grille — began giving free beer to workers showing a government ID…

For most employees, an unpaid furlough is no joke, even as they try to keep their spirits up about it by socializing. A female worker for the Environmental Protection Agency, who asked to remain anonymous because she didn’t have permission from her employer to speak, held a Shutdown BBQ at her apartment building Tuesday to take her mind off her worries.

“The uncertainty is the hardest part,” she said. “If I knew it was going to be two days, it would be easy to take as a vacation. If it’s hanging over my head that it could be two weeks, three weeks, that’s difficult.” …

Because a three week vacation with pay is so much worse than just a two day vacation with pay.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, October 4th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “House/Senate Bills Would Pay Shutdown Workers”

  1. mr_bill

    Government employees are partying? Are you sure there has been a government shutdown? This seems like business as usual.

  2. You’re going to Vote to pay your own people first? Before everyone else? Are you out of your ever loving minds?

    Yes.


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