WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.), together with Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) have introduced legislation, the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act of 2015, that would guarantee full pay for federal workers at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who could be furloughed because of a lapse in federal funding or agency shutdown. In December, the Congress passed a $1.014 trillion funding package that avoided a full government shutdown but left the Department of Homeland Security and its more than 240,000 federal employees in limbo with only partial-year funding that expires this Friday, February 27. This legislation is similar to language passed into law during or following previous government shutdowns.
"Congress must help the employees at Homeland Security protect our country and do their job," Vice Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee Barbara Mikulski said. "The Coast Guard, Border Protection, Customs, TSA at the airports, and the workers protecting us from cyber security threats should not get IOUS. We have to give them respect. We have to pay their salaries. I will keep fighting to get the Senate to take up and pass my clean DHS funding bill. And I will continue working with Senator Cardin to assure our dedicated federal employees receive the pay they deserve."