Saturday: Giving something back (money) to furloughed workers

The bill upholds the longstanding tradition of paying back federal workers hit by government shutdowns. The bill was offered this week by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), and enjoyed cosponsorship from several House Democrats and three Virginia Republicans.

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Democrats continue to oppose the GOP's effort to pass small spending resolution to get the government slowly working again. But Democrats are likely to support the bill up today, which is not one of the many GOP spending resolutions that they oppose.

The Obama administration also said it supports the bill, and said it "appreciates that the Congress is acting promptly to move this bipartisan legislation." At the same time, it warned that the White House still opposes the GOP's "piecemeal" approach to appropriations.

Also today, the House will pass a resolution that urges the Defense Department to allow furloughed military chaplains to volunteer their services during the shutdown. The resolution, from Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), is a response to reports that chaplains who want to volunteer their services during the shutdown are being threatened with arrest.

The resolution is comprised of a sense of the Congress that says the Defense Department's decision threatens the ability of people in the military to exercise their right to worship. It calls on Defense to permit the performance of these services to the extent possible.

Once the House passes these two pieces of legislation, its work will be done, and members are not expected to return until Monday. However, GOP leaders warned that that this could change.

The Senate will be in at noon, possibly to vote on the House-passed bill on retroactive pay. But Senate Democrats had not made any formal announcements as of Friday evening.