Congress Expected to Grant Back Pay to Furloughed Feds

Congress Expected to Grant Back Pay to Furloughed Feds

This story has been updated. 

The House will vote Saturday on a widely supported bill to grant furloughed federal employees retroactive pay upon the reopening of government, Republican leaders have announced.

The bill is expected to pass with bipartisan support, with Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., backing the measure Friday. The legislation — which was introduced by Reps. Jim Moran, D-Va., and Frank Wolf, R-Va. — has garnered more than 150 co-sponsors, including 18 Republicans. It cleared the House Rules Committee Thursday night, and will require a two-thirds majority in the House before it moves on to the Senate.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., introduced identical legislation in the upper chamber. A spokeswoman for Cardin said the schedule is “only a matter of which [chamber] can move first,” adding she expects Senate Democrats to approve the measure once they receive it. Continue reading “Congress Expected to Grant Back Pay to Furloughed Feds”

Democrats, Unions Demand Complete Government Reopening and Back Pay

Democrats, Unions Demand Complete Government Reopening and Back Pay

House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer

House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer Evan Vucci/AP

House Democrats and federal employee unions gathered in the shadow of the Capitol Building Tuesday to call for the immediate reopening of government and retroactive pay to furloughed workers.

Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Md., led a coalition of lawmakers from the suburbs of Washington, D.C. — areas that are home to a large number of federal employees — in the press conference. The lawmakers and union representatives said House Republicans were taking federal employees hostage, and called Tuesday, the first day of the government shutdown, a “tragic day” for the workforce.

“Our federal employees play a crucial role in keeping America strong, safe and free,” Hoyer said, flanked by dozens of workers who held up signs that read “let us work” and children with posters that said “Congress ruined my vacation.” Continue reading “Democrats, Unions Demand Complete Government Reopening and Back Pay”

GOP lawmakers want to cut federal workforce to avoid sequester

GOP lawmakers want to cut federal workforce to avoid sequester

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., center, responds to a reporter's question with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., right, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., center, responds to a reporter’s question with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., right, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Republican lawmakers in both chambers on Wednesday proposed reducing the federal workforce through attrition to avoid sequestration this year.

The 2013 Down Payment to Protect National Security Act would cut the entire government workforce by 10 percent through attrition at an estimated savings of $85 billion over the next decade. It would replace the sequester for one year: The government will need to trim $85 billion in Defense and non-defense spending in fiscal 2013 if sequestration takes effect on March 1. Continue reading “GOP lawmakers want to cut federal workforce to avoid sequester”