Washington, DC – Today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus sent a bipartisan letter, signed by 87 members of the House of Representatives, to bicameral leadership urging the inclusion of retroactive compensation for federal contractors affected by the 2018-2019 government shutdown in any year-end spending deal.
The letter was led by the Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), as well as Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
“As the Senate and House negotiate appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2020 we strongly encourage you to include – consistent with House-passed legislation – backpay for workers who were employed by federal government contractors and who did not receive pay during the most recent federal government shutdown which ended in January 2019,” the letter reads. “Federal contractors work alongside government employees performing critical jobs that include food service, engineering, security, maintenance, electrical work, and much more. For many contract workers, missing even one paycheck can leave their family unable to pay rent, mortgage payments, or grocery bills.”
The House of Representatives previously approved back pay for federal contractors in H.R. 3055, a minibus of five FY 2020 spending bills. Several CPC members have also introduced standalone legislation to ensure compensation for impacted federal contractors, including the Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Federal Contractor Employees Act from Congresswoman Pressley and Senator Tina Smith, the Fairness for Federal Contractors Act led by Congressman Norcross and Congressman Chris Smith, and the Low-Wage Federal Contractor Employee Back Pay Act from Congresswoman Holmes Norton.
“Federally contracted workers, and their families, bear no responsibility for the shutdown, but ultimately, they continue to pay for it,” the letter notes. “This represents a moral failure on the part of Congress.”
The full letter is available here.