Comstock preparing legislation to protect federal workers’ pay

Bipartisan legislation being prepared by U.S. Reps. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Don Beyer (D-VA) and Rob Wittman (R-VA) would protect federal employees from a government shutdown.

The legislation – the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act – would guarantee all furloughed workers back pay if a government shutdown occurs.

“Our dedicated military, federal employees, and contractors are on the front lines every single day to keep us safe,” Comstock said. “We must all come together to keep the government open so that they do not have to worry where they will find their next paycheck. As I have said before, keeping the federal government open means that FBI agents who work day and night tracking down criminals and terrorists do not need to worry about a mortgage payment. Keeping the federal government open means that Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, and National Security Agency officials will be 100 percent focused on their mission and not concerned about making college tuition payments for their sons and daughters. And keeping the federal government open means that National Institute of Health researchers keep working toward finding new cures. We can’t use our military, federal employees, and contractors as political footballs.”

In the event of a funding lapse or government shutdown, federal employee pay is suspended. Congress must then approve retroactive pay for all “essential” and “non-essential” federal workers.

“There has to be consistency and certainty in government funding for our federal employees to effectively carry out the important work that they do every day to make the U.S. a better, safer place,” Wittman said. “This culture of stagnation that plagues the budget process in Washington and makes the well-being of federal employees contingent on unrelated policy measures has to end. I’ve said before, and I will say again that this recurring cycle of governing by crisis has to give way to long-term vision and resolve.”

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