House Bill Would Guarantee Pay During a Shutdown

Legislation introduced in the House would guarantee federal employees’ pay in the event of a government shutdown.

As the prospect of a partial government shutdown continues to loom this week, legislation has been introduced in the House to guarantee federal employees’ pay should it take place.

The Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act was introduced by Congressmen Don Beyer (D-VA) and Rob Wittman (R-VA). Both Congressmen are from districts which collectively represent approximately 120,000 federal employees.

The bill would guarantee back pay for all furloughed workers if Congress and the White House are unable to come to a funding agreement.

In the event of a partial shutdown, whether or not federal employees who are furloughed are ultimately paid is determined by Congress. In the last shutdown, federal employees did ultimately receive pay for the shutdown period.

Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate earlier this month by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD).

“Shutting down the federal government threatens the livelihood of federal workers who carry out the nation’s vital missions,” said Beyer. “It’s inexcusable to play politics with their pay and the well-being of their households.”

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of 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.