February 12, 2019

As Another Funding Deadline Looms, Senator Warren Asks Big Banks to Expand Relief Efforts for Affected Workers

Warren releases banks’ responses about relief during initial shutdown, and asks them to continue supporting workers and expand support to federal contractors in event of a second shutdown

 Banks’ Responses to January 2019 Letter (PDF) | New Letter from Sen. Warren (PDF)

Washington, DC – As another deadline to fund the government looms, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) yesterday sent letters to leaders of Bank of America, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, U.S. Bancorp, and Wells Fargo asking them to expand their support for their federal employees, contractors, and other affected customers. Senator Warren also released the banks’ responses to an earlier January 2019 letter about their relief efforts and asked a new set of questions about their assistance for customers who lost paychecks through no fault of their own.

“I am writing today to urge that, should the President again refuse to fund the government, you continue your efforts to provide relief to government workers. I also ask that you apply all relief you have offered to federal workers to federal contract workers who could lose pay as well,” wrote Senator Warren. “This crisis has affected millions of Americans, and you should extend your hardship programs as broadly as possible to help workers who are missing paychecks through no fault of their own.”

Senator Warren acknowledged the steps the banks have taken to provide relief for more than 800,000 federal employees affected by the recent shutdown, which was the longest in American history. She noted that while federal employees are guaranteed to receive back pay, hundreds of thousands of federal contractors may never receive the paychecks they missed. Senator Warren asked the banks to extend support to federal contractors and, in light of President Trump’s threats to shut the government down yet again, pledge to continue offering shutdown relief services if government funding lapses.

She requested answers to her questions by Friday, February 15, 2019.  If the President does not sign a bill to fund the federal government, the second partial government shutdown of 2019 will begin at the end of the day on Friday.

In January, Senator Warren spoke on the Senate floor to call for an immediate end to the government shutdown. Senator Warren was an original cosponsor of the Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act, a bill to provide back pay for low- and middle-income employees federal contractors who are furloughed or forced to accept reduced work hours due to a shutdown. She was also an original cosponsor of the bill to guarantee back pay for federal employees, the Government Employees Fair Treatment Act, which was signed into law in January.