Relief for furloughed DOT workers?
By The Post's Federal Diary columnist Joe Davidson:
If you are among the nearly 2,000 Transportation Department employees who were furloughed last week because Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) temporarily blocked funding for federal highway and transportation projects, help is on the way.
The House passed legislation Wednesday morning that would compensate those 1,922 workers, Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) announced. In a speech to the House, Connolly, sponsor of the legislation, said the bill would pay employees "who were forced out of their job for two days because of political gamesmanship on the other side of the Capitol."
Last week, Bunning said he blocked the transportation funding because Congress had not provided a way to pay for it. It also would have funded unemployment benefits and health insurance subsidies for those who lost their jobs.
The furloughed federal workers "became unwitting victims of an arcane practice in the upper chamber that allows one member's objection, no matter how specious, to grind to a halt the work of the American people," Connolly said.
Connolly said the measure would prevent a 20 percent cut in the employees'
next biweekly pay check. The bill also ratifies DOT actions to maintain minimum essential services during the two furlough days.
"It's the right thing to do," he added.
The Senate still needs to pass the measure before the checks get cut.
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| March 10, 2010; 1:05 PM ET
Categories: Congress, Workplace Issues
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