White House Wants Furloughed Employees to Get Back Pay

The White House is now on the record as being in favor of reimbursing federal employees’ pay in the event of a shutdown.

One of the big questions on the minds of federal employees right now is whether or not they would get paid in the event of a shutdown. Granted, it would most likely come in the form of backpay, but that would be better than the alternative.

The best answer one can ascertain right now is, “it depends on who you ask.”

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) says no. He has already been on the record as saying that it is unlikely that federal employees will get paid in a government shutdown.

John Boehner (R-OH) also says no. When asked by George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America” whether or not members of Congress should be paid during a shutdown, he said, “No they shouldn’t be getting paid just like federal employees shouldn’t be getting paid.”

But in a press conference today, OMB Deputy Director Jeff Zients said that the White House supports the idea of reimbursing federal employees’ pay in a shutdown. When asked by a reporter whether or not the administration planned to reimburse furloughed employees, Zients said, “As you know, in 1995, indeed, furloughed employees were paid. It’s Congress’ decision, but the administration will support reimbursement.”

Having the White House on your side in the reimbursement debate is probably a good thing, but there are still no guarantees, especially since we don’t even know if a shut down will occur at this point. Stay tuned to FedSmith.com as we will keep readers up to date with the latest news on the shutdown issue as it unfolds.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.