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Dingell, Upton Lead Effort to Provide Relief to Unpaid Federal Workers, Make Unemployment Benefits Available

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) introduced emergency legislation to allow states to make unemployment benefits available to unpaid federal workers who despite the government shutdown have continued to show up to work despite not receiving a paycheck.

Currently, federal workers who are deemed essential and continue to report to work are prohibited from collecting unemployment benefits. The bipartisan Pay Federal Workers Act, makes unpaid federal workers eligible for unemployment benefits. The bill includes provisions to allow federal workers to access unemployment benefits during any future government shutdowns.
“Public servants aren’t Democrats or Republicans, they are people working to keep us safe,” said Dingell. “A missed mortgage payment affects their credit score and could impact future background checks and security clearance. They don’t know how they’ll afford gas to go to work to a job they aren’t getting paid for. Extending unemployment benefits to hard-working men and women is the right thing to do. We must come to the table and reopen the government.”
“Our public servants are suffering because of partisan shenanigans and stalemate. No federal employee should be punished because elected officials keep dropping the ball,” said Upton. “This bipartisan legislation will extend unemployment benefits to unpaid federal workers across the country and ensure they have a safety net while they are not receiving their paycheck.”

You can read a summary of the Pay Federal Workers Act here and the text of the bill here.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined Washington Governor Jay Inslee and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in calling for action to be taken to allow states’ to make unemployment benefits available to unpaid federal workers who have remained on the job during the government shutdown.


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