WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said the following regarding air traffic issues at New York’s LaGuardia airport a day after Democrat Senate Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) objected to Sen. Johnson’s request to pass the Shutdown Fairness Act, blocking pay for more than 400,000 people working during the partial shutdown:
“Yesterday, Senator Schumer blocked my attempt to pass the Shutdown Fairness Act that would have paid all federal employees who are working during the shutdown, including the air traffic controllers. Senator Schumer could have prevented this, and he needs to explain why he thinks more than 400,000 federal workers should not be paid. I feel terrible for the air traffic controllers and the many other federal employees who have been working through the shutdown. It is unconscionable that we make people work without pay.”
Background on the Shutdown Fairness Act
- Provides pay to an estimated 420,000 personnel currently working without pay, including personnel from: Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, State, Transportation, Treasury, Forest Service, NASA, and SEC.
- Authorizes the use of unappropriated funds to pay personnel previously designated as “excepted” in accordance with section 124 of OMB Circular No. A-11. This is similar to the 2013 Pay Our Military Act, passed by the 113th Congress.
- “Excepted” individuals include those who are performing emergency work, or performing work involving the safety of human life or protection of property.
- Has 25 sponsors.