Bill would protect federal workers from foreclosure, eviction during shutdown

Bill would protect federal workers from foreclosure, eviction during shutdown
The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than 20 Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday introduced legislation that would protect federal employees from foreclosures or evictions during the shutdown of the federal government.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Rep. Derek Kilmer of Washington, is designed to provide some level of emotional stability during a period of financial insecurity for the thousands of federal employees who have been furloughed or working without pay since Dec. 22.

“Thousands of federal workers and their families are struggling to pay rent and make ends meet,” Sen. Schatz said in a statement. "It’s absolutely unacceptable. Our bill will protect federal workers and make sure they aren’t harmed because of a political stunt.”

The measure, known as the Federal Employee Civil Relief Act, would also prevent federal government employees who have been impacted by the shutdown from having cars or other property repossessed, being penalized for falling behind in student loan programs, or from losing insurance because of missed payments on premiums.

As currently constructed, the bill would provide these protections for as long as the shutdown continues and for the 30 days that follow the government’s reopening.

The measure does not currently have any Republican co-sponsors in either chamber.

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