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Relief for furloughed DOT workers?

By Ed O'Keefe

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.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 10, 2010; 1:05 PM ET
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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They are not victims of an arcane procedure. If they are victims at all, they are victims of a congress that routinely fails in its most basic duty to pass government funding bills.

Posted by: member5 | March 10, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Uhh, they did try to pass it. But one Senator held it up.

Posted by: thetan | March 10, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

No, thetan, congress failed to even try to pass this bill until the absolute last minute. If congress took seriously its most basic duty of passing appropriations in a timely manner this would have been dealt with last year and never even approached a furlough.

One Senator can't hold up anything unless the others let him.

Congress = Fail

Posted by: member5 | March 11, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Follow the example of the snowstorm when Metro was closed and make them take leave.

Posted by: fireball72 | March 11, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

TSA did that too.

Posted by: corrections | March 12, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

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