Photo Courtesy of Sen. Schumer’s Office
Prior to the end of the partial government shutdown, Sen. Schumer participated in a rally featuring the faces of furloughed federal workers.
By Forum Staff
A couple of days after President Donald Trump announced a deal temporarily ending the partial government shutdown, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer called on him to make sure there is no further delay in getting federal workers their back pay.
Schumer said the 35-day shutdown left many New Yorkers struggling to pay for groceries, transportation, rent and other expenses. Many Transportation Security Administration agents were furloughed and working without pay. Schumer also noted that many TSA workers, especially in NYC, could not afford to go without pay because of the transportation costs to get to work. Furthermore, only 27 of the the National Transportation Safety Board’s 401 employees were not furloughed. Schumer said the administration must determine the fastest way to get back-pay into the bank accounts of those impacted, and to find a way to help federal contractors also hurt.
New York’s senior senator cited a recent S&P Global report that indicated that the federal government owes workers impacted by the shutdown nearly $6 billion dollars. The rating agency added that the overall cost to the economy, because of the shutdown, is “likely worse than what we had previously expected.” Schumer says these facts are why getting back-pay into the pockets of those who need it demands an “all hands on deck” effort by officials, and that to end the economic impacts of the shutdown, the disbursement of these funds must be achieved as soon as possible.
“The length of this shutdown, as you know, was unlike any other. This prolonged crisis left many Americans—and New Yorkers—struggling to buy groceries, pay their rent, mortgage and other bills. None of these workers are to blame, but they sure are now suffering,” Schumer wrote in a letter to the President. “These federal workers, many with years of service to the federal government, do their jobs with both a passion for public service and an apolitical mindset. These folks deserve a solution that puts their back pay into their bank accounts as soon as possible, because to truly end the negative impacts of this shutdown, New Yorkers and Americans need their paychecks.”
Schumer also announced on Sunday his support for a bi-partisan effort to prevent future shutdowns. The idea, which is gaining in support, would ensure government funding sustains and that shutdowns don’t happen. Schumer said the next three weeks will provide ample time to lay out the details of this overall plan and hear from both sides in hammering out the legislative specifics.
“Every day that a federal worker, contractor, or their families is going without their hard-earned pay is a day too many and a risk to our overall economy. Even more importantly, we must avoid shutdowns in the future, because no federal agency should ever be held hostage in this way ever again—and there’s a legislative way, a bi-partisan way to do this, and the next few weeks will provide the opportunity to get it done,” Schumer added.