Dems Offer Debt Protection Bill to Shield Unpaid Federal Workers

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Democrats in both the House and the Senate have introduced a bill to prohibit landlords and creditors from taking action against employees at Federal agencies impacted by the partial government shutdown.

According to a press release from Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., the Federal Employee Civil Relief Act would provide protections to Federal personnel to prevent them from:

  • Being evicted or foreclosed;
  • Having their car or other property repossessed;
  • Falling behind in student loan payments;
  • Falling behind in paying bills; or
  • Losing their insurance because of missed premiums.

Protections would last throughout the shutdown and extend to the 30 days following the shutdown “to give workers a chance to keep up with their bills.”

The bill, based on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, has 12 cosponsors in the Senate, and 10 cosponsors in the House, all Democrats.

“For weeks, President Trump’s shutdown has threatened the livelihoods of more than 800,000 federal employees and scores of federal contract workers who are trying to get by without a paycheck,” said Rep. Connolly. “Amidst this latest assault on our federal workforce, the Federal Employee Civil Relief Act provides our civil servants with some much needed, and well earned, peace of mind.”

“Right now, thousands of federal workers and their families are struggling to pay rent and make ends meet. It’s absolutely unacceptable. Our bill will protect federal workers and make sure they aren’t harmed because of a political stunt,” said Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawai’i, primary sponsor of the bill in the Senate.

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