WASHINGTON – Democrats plan to officially introduce legislation to reopen the federal government at the start of the 116th Congress. The funding measure funds six of the seven remaining appropriations bills through the remainder of fiscal year 2019. The legislative package also includes a Continuing Resolution (CR) until February 8 for the Department of Homeland Security and a 1.9% pay adjustment for federal workers.
“We fully support the House Democrats’ plan to end the shutdown and reopen the government,” said American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox, “I urge the Senate to follow suit and immediately put this plan on President Trump’s desk for signature.”
“The American people want their government to function, and government employees want to do their jobs and receive their paychecks. This shutdown was entirely unnecessary and needs to end right away.”
Since the third government shutdown of 2018 began at midnight on December 22, more than 380,000 federal employees have been locked out of their jobs. Another 420,000 have been required to report to work – and none of them received any pay throughout this holiday season. Thousands of federal workers took to social media over the holiday season to share stories about the financial hardships being caused by this shutdown using the hashtag #ShutdownStories.
“Our members take home an average of around $500 each week. Any interruption in their pay has a devastating impact on them, their families, and their communities,” said Cox.
“AFGE thanks Speaker-Designate Pelosi and Leader Schumer for their leadership and working together to draft this legislation and ensuring that the 1.9% pay raise for federal workers was included in this legislation.”
The House plan provides a 1.9% pay adjustment for 2019 passed the Senate last year and won strong bipartisan support in the House. Federal employees lost $200 billion in pay and benefits through legislation passed since 2011, and they are earning nearly 5% less today than they did at the start of the decade.
“This funding measure, as well as the provision of the modest 1.9% adjustment in salaries, needs to pass immediately,” said Cox.
“I call on President Trump to take this opportunity to show hard-working and devoted federal employees, including federal law enforcement officers, that he values their work. Please sign this bill, end this shutdown, and stand up for America’s workforce by agreeing to this small pay adjustment that federal employees have earned.”