Shutdown Aftermath: Back Pay for Contractors at Forefront With Democrats

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A day after the Federal government fully reopened and less than three weeks after it faces another potential funding crisis, a group of Senate Democrats has been pushing to get back pay to low-wage government contractors who missed paychecks during the partial lapse in appropriations.

According to Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., 20 Senate Democrats have backed the bill so far, but no Republicans. “The Federal shutdown isn’t over for thousands of businesses and their employees,” Sen. Smith said. Many of the low-wage contractors include janitorial services and security guards.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., did say that he wasn’t aware of any Republican opposition to the bill, and said he wants contractor back pay included in any final spending package that fully funds the government for the remainder of FY 2019. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has also spoken in favor of assistance to lower-wage government contract workers.

The partial government shutdown ended last Friday as the White House and Democratic leadership came to an agreement to fully fund the government until Feb. 15.

Because of the shutdown, President Trump isn’t going to be presenting his budget proposal for 2020 next week, as was planned. The President is required by law to present a proposed budget for the coming fiscal year by Feb. 1, but the shutdown will delay that presentation.

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