J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), is asking the White House to give Federal workers a major break during the government shutdown by declaring the Congressional impasse a National emergency.
In a letter to President Barack Obama late last week, Cox asked the President to declare the shutdown an emergency so that employees could become eligible for the kind of temporary financial breaks normally associated with victims of catastrophes like hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes.
Specifically, Cox asked Obama to “call upon the financial and business community to provide arrangements for skip mortgage payments, skip rent payments, skip car loan payments, skip education and other loan payments until this is all over.” He also asked that Federal employees be given free temporary access to free healthcare, gasoline, public transportation, and utilities until “their paychecks have been restored,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.
From the story:
He [Cox] proposed that the White House intervene to declare the shutdown a federal emergency, which would allow workers to collect zero-interest loans from FEMA and force businesses to extend lines of credit to employees.
…Federal workers collected half-paychecks for their last pay period and will not be paid again until after the shutdown ends. House Republicans passed legislation that would allow workers to receive retroactive pay, which would provide workers with lump sum checks at the end of the shutdown.
An AFL-CIO member, the AFGE funds a political action committee that spent the vast majority of its more than $1.1 million campaign contribution allotment on Democrats in the 2012 elections.