Capitol Police Who Protected Congress Must Wait for Pay

Friday, 04 Oct 2013 01:14 PM

By Courtney Coren

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The police heroes who were praised by lawmakers for keeping them safe during Thursday's Capitol Hill shooting will have to wait to get paid for their heroics.

The officers, who sprang into action Thursday to put the Capitol on lockdown and make sure lawmakers were kept safe during the shooting on Capitol Hill, will get no paychecks until after the budget impasse comes to an end, Roll Call reported.

The Capitol Police officers were told when the shutdown began that they were to be "at full operational strength, fully prepared for any contingence and constantly vigilant," according to orders issued by Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer, chairman of the Capitol Police Board.

Officers will be paid on Friday for the two weeks that ended Sept. 30, before the government shutdown began, but it is uncertain when they will receive pay for the current pay period if the shutdown continues. Congress is considering legislation Friday on whether or not federal workers affected by the budget impasse will receive back pay when it ends.

The Capitol Police officers are considered essential employees, so their jobs were not furloughed when the government shut down, and they are still required to show up to work. They are not allowed vacations, sick leave, or religious holidays at this time. Not to come to work when ordered categorizes an officer as AWOL.

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont told ABC News Thursday that it is "a national disgrace" that the Capitol Police aren't getting paid.

"I suspect at the end of the day they will get paid, but they have mortgages to meet, they have college loans to meet," Sanders said. "These are not millionaires. They are struggling people who have families and kids."

Members of Congress are still receiving their pay during the shutdown as their salaries are paid from mandated funds, as deemed by the Constitution. However, several lawmakers are either having their shutdown pay withheld or have pledged to donate it to charity.

Related Articles:

Female Suspect Killed by Police in Capitol Car Chase
CIA, Spy Agencies Face Big Layoffs in Government Shutdown

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