(WASHINGTON, D.C.)— Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) joined Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) in reintroducing her bill to guarantee back pay to low-wage federally contracted retail, food, custodial and security service workers not getting paid during the current federal government shutdown (fiscal year 2019). Norton introduced a version of the bill during the last government shutdown, and has introduced it in past Congresses whenever a threat of a government shutdown loomed.
She said she was particularly pleased to introduce her bill with the following Members as original cosponsors: Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-WA), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Lori Trahan (D-MA), David Trone (D-MD) and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA). Norton said she is encouraged that a group of U.S. senators introduced a companion Senate bill. Norton is also an original cosponsor of a bill to provide back pay to federal employees who are furloughed during a shutdown.
“Low-wage federal contract workers can least afford to be penalized by President Trump’s shutdown,” Norton said. “Unlike federal employees, who have always been made whole after a shutdown, many low-wage workers, who are the focus of our bill, earn little more than the minimum wage and receive few, if any, benefits. And, unlike many other contractors, those who employ low-wage service workers have little latitude to help make up for lost wages. We must act to ensure that low-wage, federally contracted service workers are not put at a unique disadvantage by the Trump shutdown.”