The House voted today to grant retroactive pay to federal employees who are furloughed as a result of the recent government shutdown on a unanimous vote of 407-0.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had predicted yesterday that the bill would pass.
The Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act (H.R. 3223) was introduced by Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) shortly after the shutdown began.
Many lawmakers expressed favorable sentiments about the bill. Rep. Don Young (R-AK) said, “This bipartisan bill is the right thing to do for the thousands of furloughed federal employees around the country. These hardworking individuals should not go without a paycheck because Congress cannot get its act together and find a reasonable compromise to end this shutdown.”
“We all recognize that federal workers are an unintended consequence here. And they would be here working and taking their pay if they could. I support paying furloughed workers,” said Rep. John Fleming (R-LA).
The legislation must now pass the Senate before being signed into law by the president. Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate, and the Senate is in session this afternoon and could try to approve the bill unanimously. A fast-track process would require every senator to agree, or else the process could get slowed down by several days, but it is expected to ultimately pass.
The White House is on record as being in favor of granting retroactive pay to federal workers so it is expected that the president will sign the bill if it passes the Senate.