WASHINGTON, DC – For the first time in 17 years, thousands of New Hampshire workers face furloughs due to a federal government shutdown. To ensure these workers are not unfairly punished due to Washington gridlock, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) has cosponsored the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, bipartisan legislation that would ensure all federal employees receive back pay for the duration the shutdown.
“More than 800,000 hardworking public servants will lose their pay because Tea Party Members of Congress refuse to fund the government,” Shea-Porter said. “Congress should pass a funding bill now along with this common sense legislation.”
In New Hampshire, 1,520 men and women at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard have been furloughed, hundreds of New Hampshire National Guardsmen and women have faced furloughs, and New Hampshire’s top federal prosecutor has furloughed almost half of his staff.
Government employees have already shouldered a number of past deficit reduction measures and continue to endure the pain of sequestration. These hardworking public servants have mortgages to pay, kids to put through college, and retirement savings to build. Retroactive pay has always been provided after past shutdowns, and providing that assurance again would be a step toward regaining the trust of the nation’s scientists, engineers, veterans, medical researcher, National Guard, and park rangers.
The federal government shutdown costs America $300 million per day. The Senate passed a continuing resolution that would fund the government at existing levels for six weeks, giving Congress time to work out a long term fiscal plan. To date, House Republicans have refused to allow a vote on the Senate legislation in order to demonstrate their opposition to the Affordable Care Act.