U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado hopes to help support federal workers impacted by the partial government shutdown with legislation to compensate employees.
The Republican lawmaker is putting forth a bill that would appropriate funds for all federal employees to be paid their standard pay regardless of their furlough status during the shutdown.
He says that with the bill, once the shutdown ends and regular appropriations are made, the amounts paid to compensate the federal employees will be deducted from the department’s full-year appropriations to avoid any windfalls for the department.
“I’ve made it clear that I do not believe government shutdowns are ever the right answer,” Gardner said in a statement. “We must reopen the government, and I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find a solution. In the interim, our federal workers should not be deprived of their paychecks."
Gardner is one of the few Republicans in the Senate who has said he favors reopening the federal government with or without action on President Donald Trump's demand for $5.7 billion in finding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep Ed Perlmutter, D-Arvada, has joined two other House members in introducing a bill that would allow federal employees and contractors to withdraw funds from their retirement accounts without being penalized.
“One of my constituents mentioned this idea to me when I was in the district this past weekend, and I felt like it was a good way to help the hardworking men and women who work for our country be able to keep up with regular bills and expenses during this difficult time,” the 7th District Democrat said in a statement.
“Missing paychecks puts a terrible strain on households, and we cannot let this continued shutdown jeopardize the livelihoods of these federal workers and their families," he said.
Perlmutter joined with U.S. Reps. Pete Olson, R-Texas, and Don Beyer, D-Virginia, in introducing House Resolution 545, which they call the Financial Relief for Feds Act.