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Alabama Sen. Doug Jones introduces bill to reimburse furloughed workers with interest

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones Thursday night introduced legislation that would require federal workers who were impacted by the shutdown to receive their full back-pay plus any interest accrued.

Posted: Jan 25, 2019 1:59 PM
Updated: Jan 25, 2019 2:01 PM

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones released this information Friday shortly after President Trump announced a deal to end the partial government shutdown:

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Doug Jones Thursday night introduced legislation that would require federal workers who were impacted by the shutdown to receive their full back-pay plus any interest accrued. Last week, Congress passed the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019, which would require that all impacted federal employees receive compensation for wages lost during the government shutdown. While this is an important step, the shutdown has forced many federal workers to incur additional costs associated with loans, late bill payments, and the other effects of missing paychecks.

“If the federal government can charge you interest for being late on your taxes, then it should be paying interest on late paychecks,” said Senator Doug Jones, who has also requested his paycheck be withheld until federal workers receive their back pay. “The more than 5,500 federal workers in Alabama didn’t ask for a shutdown and shouldn’t be punished for it. It’s only fair that the government pays them back with interest for putting them out of work indefinitely or forcing them to work without pay.”

Federal law often recognizes the importance of timely payments when it benefits the government. For example, interest accrues on unpaid taxes from the due date of the return until the date of payment. When the federal government owes federal workers, it is only reasonable that interest accrues in this scenario as well. The interest rate in Senator Jones’ legislation would be equivalent to the rate that federal agencies must pay when it pays vendors late. This rate, known as the Treasury “Prompt Payment” rate, is currently 3.625 percent.

“Federal workers are experiencing serious financial hardship from the shutdown,” said American Federation of Government Employees’ National President J. David Cox, Sr. When it ends, employees will not only have to pay more than a month’s worth of overdue bills, but they will also have to pay late fees and penalties, overdraft fees and interest charges. AFGE thanks Senator Jones for introducing the "Backpay Fairness Act" to help federal employees recover financially when the shutdown ends.”

Original co-sponsors of Senator Jones’ legislation include Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 45263

Reported Deaths: 1007
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5410152
Montgomery4158103
Mobile4129134
Tuscaloosa232142
Marshall172410
Madison14917
Lee141137
Shelby133423
Morgan11215
Walker97824
Elmore94314
Franklin89814
Baldwin8949
Dallas8919
Etowah75013
DeKalb7375
Chambers64227
Butler63428
Autauga61012
Tallapoosa60569
Russell5650
Houston5074
Unassigned50323
Limestone5010
Lauderdale4966
Lowndes47221
Cullman4594
Pike4375
Colbert4086
St. Clair4022
Escambia3966
Coffee3812
Calhoun3765
Covington3707
Bullock36910
Barbour3532
Talladega3177
Hale31421
Marengo31211
Dale2990
Wilcox2948
Sumter28512
Jackson2842
Clarke2776
Winston2633
Chilton2522
Blount2431
Monroe2392
Pickens2366
Marion23313
Conecuh2107
Randolph2099
Macon1999
Choctaw19512
Bibb1941
Greene1868
Perry1791
Henry1363
Crenshaw1253
Washington1117
Lawrence1100
Cherokee1027
Geneva830
Lamar781
Fayette711
Clay692
Coosa591
Cleburne381
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 52039

Reported Deaths: 652
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby11936201
Davidson11205121
Rutherford304035
Hamilton280435
Sumner163652
Trousdale14985
Williamson134015
Knox12098
Out of TN11987
Wilson96317
Putnam9067
Robertson83911
Sevier8303
Bradley7454
Lake6940
Tipton6495
Unassigned6351
Bledsoe6211
Bedford5705
Montgomery5677
Macon4874
Maury3573
Hardeman3524
Hamblen3434
Fayette3232
Madison3052
Loudon2881
Rhea2850
Dyer2543
McMinn23918
Cheatham2321
Blount2293
Dickson2120
Cumberland1834
Washington1740
Lawrence1646
Lauderdale1513
Anderson1442
Monroe1416
Jefferson1372
Gibson1291
Smith1221
Sullivan1212
Coffee1200
Greene1142
Obion1132
Hardin1097
Cocke940
Haywood932
Marshall921
Franklin883
Wayne880
Hickman800
Warren780
McNairy760
Marion744
White733
DeKalb680
Carter651
Lincoln650
Weakley641
Overton631
Giles621
Hawkins622
Roane620
Grundy611
Unicoi550
Campbell511
Carroll481
Claiborne480
Henderson480
Polk460
Henry450
Johnson440
Grainger410
Sequatchie410
Crockett403
Cannon370
Chester350
Perry340
Meigs320
Humphreys292
Jackson290
Morgan271
Fentress230
Stewart230
Decatur220
Union190
Clay180
Scott170
Houston150
Benton131
Moore130
Van Buren70
Hancock60
Lewis60
Pickett60

 

 

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