House Dems renew push for government contractor back pay

House Dems renew push for government contractor back pay
© Greg Nash
Dozens of House lawmakers this week renewed calls to provide back pay for low-wage government contractors who were furloughed during the 35-day partial shutdown earlier this year. 
Forty-eight lawmakers, almost all Democrats, sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyHillicon Valley: Trump officials to investigate French tax on tech giants | Fed chair raises concerns about Facebook's crypto project | FCC blocks part of San Francisco law on broadband competition | House members warn of disinformation 'battle' Lawmakers, experts see combating Russian disinformation as a 'battle' Top Democrats call for administration to rescind child migrant information sharing policy MORE (D-N.Y.) and ranking member Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerLobbying world House approves bill increasing federal worker pay House approves 3 billion spending package MORE (R-Texas) calling on them to support legislation that would provide back pay for low-wage service contractors, such as cleaning and maintenance staff and security guards.
“There are bipartisan bills in both the Senate and House of Representatives that would provide back pay to compensate federal contractor employees for their lost wages,” the lawmakers wrote. “As supporters of these efforts, we strongly urge you to include back pay for federal contractor employees in any supplemental appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY)2019 or as part of the regular appropriations process for FY2020.”
A spokesman for Lowey said chairwoman is in favor of the bills, but they do not fall under the purview of the Appropriations Committee.
“Chairwoman Lowey supports legislation to provide back pay for federal contractors, a bill which is in the jurisdiction of the Committee on Oversight and Reform. She looks forward to working with Chairman Cummings to overcome Republican opposition and do right by federal contractors who lost wages because of the Trump Shutdown,” the spokesman said, referring to Oversight Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsLawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens House poised to hold Barr, Ross in contempt Trump's family separation policy has taken US to 'lowest depth possible,' says former immigration lawyer MORE (D-Md.).
Cummings was among the lawmakers who signed the letter.
Unlike federal employees, who were compensated for their missed work after the record-long shutdown ended, contracting companies that didn't provide services during the shutdown were not compensated, leaving a 35-day hole in the paychecks of thousands of low-wage contractors.
Proponents of back pay for contractors failed in their earlier attempts to include a provision in the spending legislation that ended the shutdown.
Updated at 3:34 p.m.