The House of Representatives passed legislation over the weekend to provide retroactive pay to federal workers who are furloughed by the shutdown. The bill must now go through the Senate before being signed into law. But news about the bill has been quiet since it landed on the Senate’s doorstep.
Senate leaders have no incentive to pass the bill right now, so it’s stalled there. According to a recent AP story, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “isn’t inclined to devote a lot of the Senate’s time to the bill. He may seek to pass the measure by voice vote, a step that could be blocked by any senator.”
“There’s no sense of urgency for us to do it,” added Richard Burr (R-NC). “The federal government’s shut down.”
There is at least some interest in the Senate to provide retroactive pay to furloughed workers since companion legislation to the House bill was introduced not long ago.
The House meanwhile has passed yet another piece of legislation related to federal pay, this time to ensure that federal workers who are deemed “essential” and must work during the shutdown are paid on time.
If and when the bill does pass the Senate, it is nearly certain to be signed by the president as the White House is on record as being in favor of giving retroactive pay to federal workers.