House to vote on back pay for furloughed government workers
By Jonathan Easley - 10/04/13 11:32 AM ET
The House will vote Saturday on legislation that would provide back pay for federal workers who have been furloughed during the government shutdown.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) office announced the House would remain in session to vote on new legislation that is “critical” to government operations.
One of the bills will deal with back pay for federal workers on furloughs and is likely to pass with support from both parties.
"The House will pass a bill to pay federal workers for their time in furlough once the shutdown ends,” Cantor said in a tweet.
Unions for federal workers have been lobbying hard for Congress to approve retroactive pay for their members, as was done after the last government shutdown in the 1990s.
The House bill was put forward by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and is supported by three Virginia Republicans. Legislation on retroactive pay has also been introduced in the Senate.
The pay situation for federal workers was highlighted Thursday when police shot and killed a woman who rammed a barricade outside the White House and headed toward the Capitol. Lawmakers noted that U.S. Capitol Police are presently working without pay.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) highlighted the pay issue in a statement praising the police but did not speculate on whether the Senate would take up a potential House-passed bill to remedy the situation.
Speaking Friday on CBS’s "This Morning," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said “hopefully we can compensate them retroactively,” but other lawmakers have been more forceful in demanding that the Capitol Police get paid.
“That this government is shut down today and they’re not getting paid is a national disgrace,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told ABC News. “I suspect at the end of the day, they will get paid, but they have mortgages to meet; they have college loans to meet”
"These are not millionaires. They are struggling people who have families and kids," Sanders said.
The Senate has been warned that they may be working this weekend as well, though votes seem unlikely, as Democrats have rejected attempts by Republicans to fund the government through piecemeal appropriations bills.
Democrats say Republicans are trying to pick and choose what parts of the government to fund as a way to avoid providing money for ObamaCare.
Reid has so far rejected the GOP’s piecemeal approach, and Republicans have countered by voting on bills, such as funding for veterans, to put the Democrats in the difficult position of voting against something that has public support.
— This story was updated at 11:58 a.m.