U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) today will introduce the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, legislation to guarantee back pay to furloughed workers in the event of a government shutdown. Funding for the federal government expires at midnight Friday, Dec. 21.

“We do not want a government shutdown, but if it comes our bill would protect federal workers from the worst of the consequences,” said Rep. Beyer. “This legislation is designed to shield civil servants, who need to support their families, from the disastrous effects of failure to agree on a measure to fund the government. We hope it will not be needed, but time is running out and the current outlook is not good.”

The bill currently has 66 bipartisan cosponsors.

"Federal employees should not be penalized for Congress’ inability to get its job done on time," Rep. Wittman said. "This legislation sends a clear signal to our federal workers that they will not be harmed in the unfortunate event of a shutdown. While this legislation would minimize the impacts of funding uncertainty, my focus remains on returning Congress to a regular schedule of budgeting and passing appropriations bills."

Together the two Virginia Congressmen represent nearly 120,000 federal employees.

A shutdown would temporarily suspend paychecks for federal employees in affected agencies, and retroactive pay for federal workers must be approved by Congress. The Beyer-Wittman legislation would guarantee that no federal employees would lose pay if a government shutdown occurs. Similar legislation was passed to pay civil servants in the wake of the government shutdown in early 2018.