Federal employees and their Democratic allies in Congress called on Congress to make sure that the workers who get kicked off the job during the government shutdown should eventually get paid.
Speaking at a press conference outside the Capitol Building, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said that federal workers are getting a raw deal and that Republicans could send them back to work by giving up on their push to delay or defund Obamacare.
“Our federal employees play a crucial role in keeping American, strong, safe and free, but House Republicans have decided to us them as pawns in their obsessive partisan game against health care reform,” Mr. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said, surrounded by leaders and employees of federal worker unions.
Democrats said that the shutdown is jeopardizing the livelihoods of 800,000 federal employees, most of whom live outside the Washington D.C. beltway.
They said federal workers already have had a three-year pay freeze and faced furloughs because of the “sequester” spending cuts.
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and others said that Congress should at the very least pass a bill to make sure that federal workers get paid for the time they miss because of the shutdown.
“Bot federal and D.C. employees are innocent bystanders of a congressional crisis,” Ms. Holmes Norton said.