White House Supports Back-Pay for Furloughed Federal Employees; Congress Non-CommittalThursday, April 7, 2011
(National Federation of Federal Employees)
At a White House press briefing Thursday, OMB Deputy Director for Management Jeffrey Zients said that the Obama administration supports providing retroactive pay for furloughed federal employees, should a shutdown occur.
Though it is important that the Administration is taking a stand, there are no guarantees that furloughed employees will be compensated. By law, only Congress can make the determination as to whether or not these workers are made whole. Following the 1995 and 1996 shutdowns, Congress did just that, paying employees retroactively once the government returned to work.
According to Rep. James Moran (D-VA), however, that may not necessarily be the case this time around. On a conference call with reporters yesterday, Moran said that his conversations with conservative members of the House led him to believe that back-pay for furloughed workers would be “highly unlikely.”
“This is an insult to every federal employee who shows up to work and serves their country each day,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “These hardworking women and men have bills to pay and families to feed. They want to work. Federal workers do not deserve to be punished because Congress refuses to do its job.”