Two AFGE-backed bills have been introduced in the House and Senate this week to ensure that employees in the Department of Homeland Security will be paid retroactively should a departmentwide shutdown occur.
About 200,000 DHS employees would be forced to report to work without pay if Congress does not pass a funding bill for the department by the end of the week. These include Transportation Security Officers, Border Patrol agents, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. Another 30,000 employees would be furloughed without pay during a shutdown. Many of the employees live paycheck to paycheck.
“These employees have demanding, high-stress jobs that require their full attention. Wondering if they will get paid during a prolonged shutdown is a distraction they don’t need and we as a nation can’t afford,” AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. said.
The House bill was introduced by Reps. Don Beyer and Rob Wittman of Virginia. The Senate version was introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland.