Menendez Cosponsors Bill to Protect Federal Workers from Financial Fallout during Shutdown

Menendez Cosponsors Bill to Protect Federal Workers from Financial Fallout during Shutdown

Measure creates foreclosure, eviction, loan default protections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez announced today that he is cosponsoring bicameral legislation to protect federal workers and contractors from foreclosures, evictions and loan defaults as a result of not getting paid during the longest government shutdown in American history.  Now into Day 24, the partial government shutdown has impacted 800,000 federal workers, including more than 5,000 in New Jersey. 

“Hardworking, dedicated federal employees and their families should not have to worry that they could lose their home, health coverage or face financial hardship as a result of falling behind on their bills during the shutdown.  It is absolutely unconscionable that President Trump has put them in this position by shutting down the government,” said Sen. Menendez.  “Congress must do its part to protect federal workers and their families from further harm.  I would implore President Trump and Majority Leader McConnell to immediately end this needless shutdown before anyone else gets hurt.”

The Federal Employee Civil Relief Act addresses the real threat of federal workers losing their homes, falling behind on student loans and other bills, having their car repossessed, or losing their health insurance because they have been furloughed during a shutdown or required to work without pay.  It prohibits landlords and creditors from taking action against federal workers or contractors who are hurt by the government shutdown and unable to pay rent or repay loans during and up to 30 days after the end of the shutdown, while empowering federal workers to sue creditors or landlords that violate this protection. 

This is just the latest in a series of actions Sen. Menendez has taken to help federal workers and contractors who have lost pay:  

  • Cosponsored the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act, which would guarantee all furloughed workers receive retroactive pay once the government is reopened and funds are fully restored and guarantees back pay in the event of future shutdowns, passed the Senate yesterday 
  • Cosponsored the Pay Our Coast Guard Act, bipartisan legislation to pay members of the Coast Guard, civilian employees and contractors.  There are hundreds of service members from New Jersey charged with keeping our waters safe that are currently being forced to work without pay

Sen. Menendez has repeatedly called for an end to the Trump Shutdown and pressed Majority Leader McConnell to call a vote on House-passed legislation to reopen the government that has already gained bipartisan approvals in the Senate.