Republican senators would love to repeal the estate tax – a tax that affects 2,000 ultra-rich Americans. But the senators have no interest in back pay for federal contractors.
“Not a single Republican senator has joined the effort to give back pay to hundreds of thousands of federal contractors who were unpaid during the partial government shutdown. But the party’s leaders are pushing ahead with a bill to repeal the federal estate tax on behalf of the wealthiest Americans.
Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, both Democrats, have introduced bills that would give back pay to federal contractors, who are not entitled under law to be paid after a shutdown as federal employees are, Vox reported.
According to the Washington Post, the total number of federal contractors affected could be in the millions. Federal contractors were barred from doing any business for the government for 35 days, meaning many workers missed out on nearly 10 percent of their annual pay.
The bill would allow agencies to provide workers with up to $965 per week in back pay.
Smith said the bill is an easy fix because federal agencies have already allocated money for the contractor costs but haven’t paid them out.
‘If you think about it, they’re paying people for work they would have done but for the shutdown,’ Smith told Vox. ‘In many cases, that money was already budgeted; it just hasn’t been spent.’
According to Vox, the bill already has 20 co-sponsors in the Senate — but not a single Republican is backing the bill.
Instead, on Monday, three top Republican senators introduced a bill to repeal the federal estate tax, which is paid by fewer than 2,000 of the wealthiest Americans per year.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was joined by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., in sponsoring a bill that fully repeals the tax some wealthy families must pay on inherited wealth, the Washington Post reported.”
For the rest of the story, visit Salon here.