Virginia Democrats Fight for Federal Workers, Against Government Shutdown

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    See the “flip” for two press releases and a news article which demonstrate how Virginia Democratic Senators and Representatives are fighting for federal workers, and how Republicans are…well, not so much.

    1. From Mark Warner’s office: “U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and Jim Webb (D-VA) filed legislation today that would ensure that federal workers receive retroactive pay for the duration of a potential government shutdown.

    2. From Government Executive: “Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., on Friday introduced a bill (H.R. 1429) that would compensate all federal employees at the end of a shutdown regardless of their furlough status. Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Frank Wolf, R-Va., are co-sponsors.” Great work by Jim Moran and Gerry Connolly. As for Frank Wolf, my question is, how does he reconcile is cosponsorship of this legislation with his continued support for the Tea Partiers’ extremist social agenda, as well as for BONEr’s and Can’tor’s reckless game of “chicken” on the budget? In short, Frank Wolf is part of the problem, not the solution, no matter if he tries to hide that by sticking his name on Jim Moran’s bill.

    3. Finally, from DPVA Spokesman Brian Coy, we have this gem: “As Virginians brace for the multiple economic impacts of a potential government shut down, former-Senator George Allen is spending his time and campaign cash making sure conservatives know that he’s done as much as anyone to limit a woman’s right to choose in Virginia.”

    So, there you have it — Virginia Democratic Senators and Representatives are busy fighting to protect federal workers, as well as working hard to prevent a government shutdown. In contrast, Virginia Tea Partiers and their Republican compadres (e.g., George Allen) are either staying silent altogether, or are busy promoting their radical agenda on defunding Planned Parenthood (97% of whose money is spent on women’s health, contraception, and other NON-abortion related matters), trashing the environment, opposing consumer protection, you name it, even if it shuts down the government. Just remember who was on your side and who couldn’t care less, come the next time you see these peoples’ names on the ballot.

    VIRGINIA, MARYLAND SENATORS INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO GUARANTEE PAY FOR INVOLUNTARILY FURLOUGHED FEDERAL EMPLOYEES

    ~ Bill ensures retroactive pay for all federal employees ~

    WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Sens.  Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and Jim Webb (D-VA) filed legislation today that would ensure that federal workers receive retroactive pay for the duration of a potential government shutdown.  Currently, federal pay is suspended in the event of a funding lapse or government shutdown, and retroactive payment for “non-essential” and “essential” employees must be specifically approved by Congress.

    “Federal employees, including up to 90% of the civilian workforce at the Pentagon and thousands of other federal employees across Virginia, could be sent home without pay during any government shutdown,” Senator Warner said. “These employees provide critical support for our ongoing military operations, including humanitarian relief in Japan, and they should not be penalized for Congress’ inability to resolve our political and policy differences with a short-term spending bill.”

    “Federal employees who were furloughed through no fault of their own should be paid,” said Senator Mikulski. “Dedicated civil servants should not be scapegoats for the decisions of politicians. They should be paid retroactively and I believe they should be paid in a timely way. I oppose this Tea Party shutdown. I am for cuts. I have reformed spending. I have initiated cuts. I believe we need a more frugal, efficient federal government. But it can’t be done through serial CRs on the back of federal employees.”

    “Marylanders who work for the federal government do not deserve to be locked out of their jobs and lose pay because lawmakers cannot agree on a budget,” said Senator Cardin.  “These are real people with families who are hurting and a shutdown is not of their making.  I want to make sure they are not penalized by the inability of Congress to pass a budget.”

    “Individuals who dedicate their lives to public service should not have their livelihoods threatened due to Congress’ failure to execute its core function of funding the government,” said Senator Webb. “For that reason, as a matter of fairness, this legislation will ensure that federal workers are compensated for any wages lost if the government is forced to shut down.”

    As government shut down looms, Allen focuses on social issues

    Richmond, VA – As Virginians brace for the multiple economic impacts of a potential government shut down, former-Senator George Allen is spending his time and campaign cash making sure conservatives know that he’s done as much as anyone to limit a woman’s right to choose in Virginia.

    “As of Friday evening, conservative ideologues in congress are threatening to hold our government hostage over social issues that have nothing to do with creating jobs or balancing the budget,” said DPVA Communications Director Brian Coy. “Instead of urging his colleagues to put the best interests of Virginians ahead of their political agenda, George Allen chose to make his far-right record on women’s health one of the first paid communications of his campaign.

    “This raises the question of whether or not he agrees with Republicans in Washington who are willing to risk damaging Virginia’s fragile economy by shutting down the government over funding for women’s health clinics.”

    Background:

    The Allen campaign mailer, covered on the conservative blog Bearing Drift, features several quotes by Allen supporters touting his credentials as a fighter for the pro-life, anti-choice cause.

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    The U.S. Congress is still in the midst of negotiations over a measure to continue funding for the federal government through the remainder of the year.

    According to multiple reports the negotiations are hung up on a proposed Republican amendment to strip federal funding for Planned Parenthood clinics that provide essential reproductive health services to women around the country. Federal law already prohibits using government funding for abortions.

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    A federal shutdown could have profound affects on Virginia’s economy, particularly in light of the number of federal employees who live in the Commonwealth and could be furloughed.

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