Press Release

April 8, 2011

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) and U.S. Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) today co-sponsored legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-MD) that would compensate furloughed federal workers who are affected by a government shutdown.  Federal workers who are involuntarily furloughed would receive retroactive pay for the duration of a shutdown once it is over.  As it currently stands, members of the military will not be paid during a shutdown, but will receive their pay when it ends. 

The federal government is the nation’s largest employer with approximately 2 million federal civilian employees.  It is expected that about 800,000 federal workers would be affected by a shutdown.  In Maryland, there are 150,000 federal civilian workers and 150,000 retirees. 

“Marylanders who work for the federal government did not cause this and do not deserve to be locked out of their jobs and lose pay,” said Senator Cardin.  “These are real people with families who are hurting and they should not be made to suffer for something they did not cause and for which they are not responsible.”

 “Federal employees who were furloughed through no fault of their own should be paid. Dedicated civil servants should not be scapegoats for the decisions of politicians. They should be paid retroactively and I believe they should be paid in a timely way,” said Senator Mikulski.  “I oppose this Tea Party shutdown.  I am for cuts. I have reformed spending. I have initiated cuts. I believe we need a more frugal, efficient federal government. But it can’t be done through serial CRs on the back of federal employees.