From the office of:

Lori Trahan

Sending Office: Honorable Lori Trahan
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Supported by: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, and the National Treasury Employees Union

Current co-sponsors: Trahan, Stefanik, Brown, Jackson Lee, Moore, Sylvia Garcia, Cohen

Dear Colleague,

During the FY 2019 shutdown, at least 400,000 federal employees, including workers at EPA, HUD, IRS, and U.S. Coast Guard were forced to work without pay.  These employees – sometimes referred to as “excepted service” or “essential” – received no compensation
for more than a month. Moreover, due to a longstanding interpretation of federal guidelines, these employees were also ineligible to receive unemployment compensation. In order to prevent a repeat of this inequity, we are introducing the
Fairness for Excepted Service Employees Act.

The FY 2019 shutdown lasted five weeks and, according to the Congressional Budget Office, cost the national economy billions of dollars.  It was also a tremendous hardship for the 800,000 federal employees who were furloughed or deemed essential (excepted
service employees).  The shutdown was particularly challenging for the latter due to their ineligibility to receive unemployment compensation.  As the shutdown dragged on, federal employees’ personal savings was drained and reliance on credit cards grew. 

While we hope that the danger of another shutdown will be averted, it remains a distinct possibility.  Therefore, we are introducing the
Fairness for Excepted Service Employees Act to ensure that excepted service employees would be eligible to receive unemployment compensation if there is a shutdown beginning on or after October 1, 2019.  This simply provides those employees required
to work through the shutdown with the same option as their colleagues that are furloughed, helping them pay the bills during this time of financial hardship.

We invite you to join us as an original co-sponsor of the Fairness for Excepted Service Employees Act. If you would like to become a co-sponsor, please contact Ron Carlton in Rep. Trahan’s office at 202.225.3411 (,
Marek Laco in Rep. Stefanik’s office at 202.225.4611 (  or James DeAtley in Rep. Brown’s office at 202.225.8699 (


Lori Trahan, 

Elise Stefanik

Anthony Brown

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Economy, Government, Labor

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