Dem bill would let essential workers collect unemployment during shutdown

Dem bill would let essential workers collect unemployment during shutdown
© Greg Nash

Rep. Anthony BrownAnthony Gregory BrownDivided Dems look to regroup Overnight Defense: Transgender troops rally as ban nears | Trump may call more troops to border | National Guard expects 3M training shortfall from border deployment | Pentagon to find housing for 5,000 migrant children Transgender troops rally as Pentagon prepares to implement ban MORE (D-Md.) on Thursday introduced legislation aimed at providing essential government workers access to unemployment benefits during the partial government shutdown.

The bill’s introduction comes as federal workers affected by the shutdown are expected to miss their second consecutive paycheck. The measure would overturn a Department of Labor regulation prohibiting essential employees from collecting jobless benefits.

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“As the shutdown enters its 34th day, it’s unconscionable that the Trump administration is forcing hundreds of thousands of federal employees to work without providing a means for them to support themselves and their families,” Brown said in a statement. “If the President is going to continue to hold federal employees hostage, then we will ensure they are provided for during his shutdown.”

Brown noted the administration added 50,000 federal workers to the 420,000 employees who were already deemed essential and have been working without pay.

Some states have opted to extend unemployment benefits to essential employees and called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE do the same.

Co-sponsors of the legislation include Democratic Reps. Don Beyer (Va.), Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaRepublicans attempt to amend retirement savings bill to include anti-BDS language House votes to boost retirement savings House Dems launch Servicewomen and Women Veterans caucus MORE (Va.), Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinPelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote House progressive: Pelosi 'has it right' on impeachment House Democrats press leaders to start Trump impeachment MORE (Md.), Lori TrahanLori A. TrahanMaking the case for ranked-choice voting Dems counter portrait of discord Pelosi, Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez place transgender pride flags outside Capitol Hill offices MORE (Mass.), David TroneDavid John TroneBooker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Dem bill would let essential workers collect unemployment during shutdown New Jersey governor calls for redistricting reform MORE (Md.) and Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonExclusive: Carson seeks to clean up testimony on protections for homeless transgender people Trump tax returns: Mnuchin says Treasury trying to find out who wrote IRS memo Pelosi, Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez place transgender pride flags outside Capitol Hill offices MORE (Va.), as well as Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonGillibrand endorses DC statehood: Democracy doesn't mean 'for some of us' The Hill's Morning Report - Dem candidates sell policy as smart politics Bipartisan group asks DHS, ICE to halt deportations of Iraqi nationals MORE (D-D.C.).

Negotiators have struggled to find a path forward to resolve the funding impasse. Democrats are calling on Republicans to reopen the government before they negotiate how to best handle border security, while Trump has vowed not to sign any spending bill that doesn’t include funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.