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Blumenthal, Murphy Back Bill To Ensure Unemployment Benefits For Furloughed Workers

Carolyn Kaster
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., talks to media after a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington in Sept.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is one sponsor of a bill to allow federal workers to receive unemployment benefits if they’re being forced to work without pay during the shutdown.

Furloughed federal workers can collect unemployment, but if they’re called back to work without a paycheck, they lose that opportunity. Blumenthal said that’s not fair.

“Their being called back simply emphasizes how unjust, unfair and unacceptable it is for federal employees to be on the job, unpaid, without any compensation, even under our unemployment system.”

Blumenthal said the bill would allow the U.S. Department of Labor to approve state unemployment benefits to federal workers who are still on the job but not getting paid.

U.S. Senators Kamala Harris of California and Chris Murphy of Connecticut are co-sponsoring the bill. TSA agents and air traffic controllers are among those working without pay.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.