Congresswoman Elaine Luria Introduces Bipartisan Shutdown Relief Act

January 18, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) today introduced the Shutdown Relief Act, a bipartisan bill that would provide relief to federal workers suffering from the financial repercussions of the government shutdown.

“Our federal workforce should be able to access their hard-earned money during disruptive political breakdowns they had no role in causing. Throughout this shutdown, Virginians have contacted my office with stories of lengthy furlough periods or working without pay,” Congresswoman Luria said. “Senate Republicans should do the sensible thing and pass bipartisan House legislation to reopen government immediately. Failing that, our top priority should be making it easier for federal workers to pay their bills and live their lives.”

More than 800,000 federal workers missed a paycheck this week due to the shutdown. Congresswoman Luria met with dozens of them last weekend during talks with Coast Guard personnel at Station Little Creek in Virginia Beach and TSA agents at Norfolk International Airport.

Under current law, federal workers under 59 ½ years old may only withdraw funds from their 401(k) retirement savings plan – known as the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – by taking out a loan or by demonstrating that they are suffering from a financial hardship. Additionally, if such employees choose to take a hardship, there is a 10 percent penalty for early withdrawal.

The Shutdown Relief Act would amend the United States Code to allow such federal workers to withdraw money from their TSPs up to the amount of their missed shutdown pay without penalty, as long as the funds are returned within 180 days. 

PDF iconA copy of the legislation can be found HERE.

Original cosponsors include Rep. Anthony Brown (MD-4), Rep. Morgan Griffith (VA-9), Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (PA-6), Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. (NC-3), Rep. Donald McEachin (VA-4), Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2), Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-3), Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-7), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-8), and Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-7.)

Since her Jan. 3 swearing-in, Congresswoman Luria has voted nine times to reopen government and has directed the Chief Administrative Officer of the House to withhold her pay for the duration of the government shutdown.