Though the longest federal shutdown in U.S. history is over, thousands of government employees are suffering, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday.
The senator called on the president to speed up the process to get federal workers and contractors their back pay for the income they lost during the 35-day shutdown. Schumer said many of the 800,000 employees are living paycheck-to-paycheck and are desperately awaiting the money.
"Our goal is to get them back on their feet," Schumer said.
The Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney said during appearances on Sunday morning talk shows that some federal workers may get their back pay by the end of the week, while others may get it later. Schumer said the president should have a stricter timetable and speed up the process, even if it means working payroll employees overtime.
The senator noted that the shutdown has already cost the U.S. economy at least $6 billion, and that number is most likely going to rise once the dust has settled. Schumer said he also will support a bipartisan bill that would prevent similar shutdowns in the future.
U.S. senators Rob Portman and Mark Warner’s legislation, known as the "Stop Stupidity Act" would automatically renew government funding to the same levels as the previous year if the president and Congress don’t come to an agreement
"Now that the shutdown is over, we should roll up our sleeves and make sure it never happens again," Schumer said.