Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) signed on today as a cosponsor of H.R. 67, the Federal Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, to provide back pay to federal workers in agencies affected by President Trump’s government shutdown.
“As this shutdown now stretches into its third week, it’s critical for the 800,000 affected federal workers to know that they will not lose their pay for a crisis they had no part in,” Pingree said. “We have longtime public servants worried about missing their mortgage payments and tens of thousands of essential employees, including TSA agents, forced to work without knowing if they’ll get paid for it. This is the crisis our nation is facing and the one President Trump needs to address.”
Pingree also plans to support a series of funding bills the House is scheduled to vote on later this week to reopen several critical agencies, including the Departments of the Treasury, Agriculture, Interior, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.
Those appropriations bills—which also include provisions to compensate all federal employees affected by the shutdown—are nearly identical to ones that passed the Senate overwhelmingly last year in a 92-6 vote.
“The funding bills we will take up include the largest areas of bipartisan support and the most critical programs for families. If the Senate passed them so overwhelmingly in 2018, there’s no reason it shouldn’t now,” Pingree said. “It’s ludicrous for anyone to think we can have a meaningful debate on immigration or security in this situation. Let’s reopen the vast majority of the federal government, get people’s lives back to normal, and then have the discussion.”