WASHINGTON (CBS19 NEWS) -- Two members of the U.S. Senate have introduced a bill to protect federal workers who fall behind on their bills during the ongoing partial government shutdown.
Senators Mark Warner of Virginia and Brian Schatz of Hawaii introduced the Federal Employee Civil Relief Act to protect such workers and their families from foreclosures, evictions and loan defaults during the shutdown.
“With each day that passes during President [Donald] Trump's shutdown, hundreds of thousands of federal employees are worrying about how they will pay for their bills even though their paychecks have stopped coming in,” said Warner. “This important legislation ensures that federal workers don't face repercussions for making the hard choice between paying for basic necessities and paying their student loans. This unnecessary shutdown is already hurting federal workers, they don't need additional hardships that could impact their financial future.”
According to a release, the legislation addresses the threat of federal workers losing their homes, falling behind on student loans and other bills, having their car repossesses, or losing health insurance due to missing premium payments because they have been furloughed during the shutdown or are required to work without pay.
The bill is modeled after the Servicemembers Relief Act, which prohibits landlords and creditors from taking action against federal workers or contractors who are hurt by the shutdown and who are unable to pay rent or repay loans.
It would empower such workers to sue creditors or landlords who violate the protection.
The release says the protection would last during and 30 days after a shutdown to give workers a chance to keep up with their bills.