Senate Passes Bill Guaranteeing Back Pay For Federal Workers Once The Government Shutdown Ends

As President Donald Trump continues to demand for a border wall, an estimated 800,000 federal employees will be without their paychecks on Friday. But the Senate has unanimously passed guaranteed back pay for all federal workers affected by the government shutdown.

Congress approved similar bills in previous shutdowns, including the ones in January of 2018 and October of 2013. Federal workers will be guaranteed to receive their back pay as soon as possible after the president signs off on the federal budget. According to Vox, paychecks would be sent out even when they aren’t on the normal billing cycle. This includes those who were furloughed or (temporarily) given leave of absence. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on the Senate floor, The New York Post reports, that the president will sign the bill as soon as the House passes its own. 

“I had an opportunity to talk to President Trump a few moments ago, and wanted to indicate to our colleagues that he will sign the bill that we’ve been discussing here to guarantee that government workers who’ve been displaced as a result of the shutdown will ultimately be compensated,” McConnell said, according to Axios. “And so I want to ease their anxiety about that particular possibility.”

The government impasse has been difficult for many federal employees who have to cover daily costs such as rent, utilities and loans. The bills hopes to alleviate some of those pains, but many won’t reap the benefits of it and receive their back pay until a shutdown solution has been made, according to Vox

Democrats have even introduced measures to protect workers from the effects of potentially the longest shutdown in the United States history. According to the Huffington Post, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) created legislation to “prohibit landlords and creditors from taking action against federal workers or contractors who are hurt by the shutdown and cannot pay rent or repay loans. 

The shutdown will soon be in its 21st day, as of Friday. But there still isn’t an end in sight.