Since the Shutdown Began, More than 450,000 Federal Employees have Worked without Pay, & More than 380,000 Staff Have been Furloughed

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger has supported the introduction of two bills that would make sure federal workers receive backpay once the ongoing government shutdown ends and that Members of Congress would not receive their regular salaries during a shutdown.

Since December 22, 2018, more than 450,000 federal employees have worked without pay, including more than 41,000 federal law enforcement and correctional officers and up to 88 percent of all Department of Homeland Security employees. Additionally, more than 380,000 federal employees have been furloughed during the government shutdown, including more than 80 percent of National Park Service employees and approximately 45,000 Internal Revenue Service staff.  

To assist federal employees and their families negatively affected by the shutdown, Spanberger helped introduced bipartisan legislation—led by U.S Representative Don Beyer (D-VA-8)—that would retroactively pay federal employees that have gone without pay during the shutdown. Additionally, she helped introduce a bill—led by U.S. Representative Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5)—that would reduce the pay of Members of Congress if a shutdown occurs. Spanberger cosponsored both bills on her first day in office.

“Right now, nine out of 15 federal agencies are impacted by the government shutdown, and many federal employees are working without pay while others remain furloughed in a state of uncertainty due to this shutdown. From the FBI to the CIA to the State Department to TSA to the Department of Agriculture, vital federal agencies remain in limbo, impacting our national security and the functioning of our government,” said Spanberger. “On my first day in Congress, I cosponsored two bills in response to this ongoing crisis. The first would ensure that federal employees receive backpay after the government reopens, and the second would keep Members of Congress from receiving a full taxpayer-funded paycheck while other federal employees are working or furloughed without pay. But these are just small steps—the real fix will come when Members of Congress, the Senate, and the President stop using the very functioning of our government and the salaries of our federal workforce as bargaining chips. We must end this shutdown, and I urge the U.S. Senate to take up the bipartisan legislation we passed in the U.S. House last week so that we can reopen our government, stabilize federal agencies, and provide much-needed certainty to the entire federal workforce.” 

Last week, Spanberger joined a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass bipartisan legislation that would end the ongoing government shutdown. The funding package would fully fund most of the federal government through September 30, 2019, and the bill maintains current funding levels for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through February 8, 2019. The legislation also included a provision Spanberger helped introduce to retroactively restore pay that federal employees have been denied during the partial shutdown.

And earlier last week, then-Rep.-Elect Spanberger sent a letter requesting that her Congressional salary be withheld until the government fully reopens and all federal employee pay is restored. Click here to read her full letter.

Spanberger represents Virginia’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, and she was sworn into the 116th U.S. Congress last Thursday.


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