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 BrownThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question CBC lawmakers rip Justice Democrats for targeting black lawmakers for primaries Overnight Defense: Trump says he doesn't need exit strategy with Iran | McConnell open to vote on Iran war authorization | Senate panel advances bill to restrict emergency arms sales 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 TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE do the same.

Co-sponsors of the legislation include Democratic Reps. Don Beyer (Va.), Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaBipartisan group of lawmakers invites colleagues to tour DC's Holocaust museum Hopes dim for passage of Trump trade deal The benefit of electing veterans is more bipartisan lawmaking MORE (Va.), Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinHow Trump suddenly brought Democrats together on a resolution condemning him Hoyer slams McCarthy's defense of Trump tweets: 'Baloney' Democrats erupt over Trump attacks 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 TroneMaryland lawmakers slam 'despicable' Trump remark about journalists on newsroom shooting anniversary Biden holds lead in 2020 endorsements Dem bill would let essential workers collect unemployment during shutdown MORE (Md.) and Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonProgressives face steep odds in ousting incumbent Democrats Congress needs to continue fighting the opioid epidemic Lawmakers battle over HUD protections for homeless transgender people MORE (Va.), as well as Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonMajority of Americans opposes DC statehood: poll DC statehood hearing rescheduled to make room for Mueller testimony DC mayor: Trump's July 4 celebration 'depleted' security fund 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.