Senators Introduce New Legislation to Protect Fed Worker Credit Reports

February 15, 2019, 8:29 AM HST (Updated February 15, 2019, 8:31 AM)
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U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced new legislation to protect the credit reports of federal workers and contractors who were hurt by the government shutdown.

“Our federal workers and contractors shouldn’t have their financial lives ruined because leaders in Congress and the White House can’t get their act together,” said Sen. Schatz. “Our bill will protect federal employees and contractors and make sure their credit reports don’t take a hit if they fall behind on payments during a government shutdown.”

“The recent shutdown may be over, but federal employees and contractors are still feeling its effects. They shouldn’t have their credit scores threatened because the President recklessly decided to shutter the government for 35 days,” said Sen. Warner.

“During the partial shutdown, federal workers were just innocent bystanders in a partisan political standoff,” said Sen. Kennedy. “There are real life, long-term harms to credit scores taking a hit because Congress forced workers to miss two paychecks. This bill not only protects federal employees from the last shutdown and any future shutdowns, but it ensures their credit scores accurately reflect their ability to repay. The bottom line is that they don’t deserve to be punished for circumstances that were out of their control.”

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The bipartisan Protect Federal Workers’ Credit Act would require credit bureaus to remove negative information that was placed on the credit reports of federal workers and contractors who missed payments as a result of a government shutdown. The bill would apply to the recent shutdown and any future government shutdowns.

At 35 days, the last government shutdown was the longest in history and hurt more than 800,000 federal workers and thousands of federal contractors across the country. Many of those who were furloughed or required to work without pay fell behind on mortgage payments, student loans, and other bills, taking massive hits to their credit reports.

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