Deutch Cosponsors Bill to Protect Federal Workers & Families from Impacts of Shutdown
Thirty-three days into the partial government shutdown, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) cosponsored the Federal Employee Civil Relief Act, legislation introduced by Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) to protect federal workers and their families from foreclosures, evictions, and loan defaults during a government shutdown.
The bill 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. Modeled after the Servicemembers Relief Act, the Schatz-Kilmer legislation will prohibit 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. The bill would also empower federal workers to sue creditors or landlords that violate this protection.
"Families in South Florida are suffering from the very real pain of this shutdown," said Congressman Deutch. "I've heard from constituents who are struggling to pay their bills and medical expenses because they haven't received a paycheck in a month. Why should federal workers and their families be punished for the President's stubborn refusal to reopen the government? We can and should have a debate on border security, but not while 800,000 workers and their families are struggling to make ends meet. This bill will provide important relief for these families as we continue to push the President and Republicans to reopen the government immediately."
The Federal Employee Civil Relief Act would safeguard workers impacted by a shutdown from the following:
• Being evicted or foreclosed;
• Having their car or other property repossessed;
• Falling behind in student loan payments;
• Falling behind in paying bills; or
• Losing their insurance because of missed premiums.
The protection would last during and 30 days following a shutdown to give workers a chance to keep up with their bills. This partial government shutdown hurts more than 800,000 federal workers in all 50 states.