Updates: Backpay during furlough

Good evening everyone,

The Senate and House have passed the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019.  This bill allows furloughed and excepted employees (persons forced to work without pay during the lapse in appropriations) to be paid from December 22nd (the first day of the lapse).  The bill states that employees shall be paid at the “earliest date possible”, regardless of scheduled pay dates.
The bill, S. 24, passed the Senate on January 10th and passed the House the next day (Friday, January 11th).  Both houses voted in favor of the bill by overwhelming majorities.
Assuming that Congress stays in session, the President has ten days (January 21) in which to sign the bill or to veto the bill.  If Congress remains in session and the President does not sign the bill, it becomes law and we will be paid whenever our agency is funded.  If Congress adjourns before the 10 days and the President has not signed the bill, it is considered to be vetoed (called a pocket veto).  In any event, Congress can override a veto.  Since the bill passed by very large majorities, presumably any veto will be overridden.
But any override will take time and Congress is still at loggerheads over funding many agencies including HUD.
The good news is that we will most likely get back pay.  The bad news is that we will have to be patient.
Thank you
Dennis Murakami
Updated: January 14, 2019 — 7:55 am