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Erich Wagner

Erich Wagner is a staff correspondent covering pay, benefits and other federal workforce issues. He joined Government Executive in the spring of 2017 after extensive experience writing about state and local issues in Maryland and Virginia, most recently as editor-in-chief of the Alexandria Times. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.
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Labor Dept. Denies Request That Excepted Feds Be Eligible for Unemployment

3:59 PM ET Labor Secretary Alex Acosta has rejected an effort by District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser to allow federal employees working without pay during the partial government shutdown to be eligible for unemployment benefits while agencies remain shuttered. On Monday, Bowser sent a letter to Acosta requesting the change in policy....

House Rejects GOP Effort to Give Feds Their First Missed Paycheck But Continue the Shutdown

January 17, 2019 The House on Thursday rejected an attempt by Republicans to replace a continuing resolution to fund the government through Feb. 28 with a measure that would have issued a paycheck to federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay. The chamber momentarily approved the CR (H.J. Res. 28), which...

Watchdog: Government Separated 'Thousands' More Children at Border Than Reported

January 17, 2019 A Health and Human Services Department watchdog concluded that “thousands” more immigrant children were separated from a parent or guardian at the U.S.-Mexico border than the government had previously reported, and that the total number of family separations is “unknown.” The HHS Office of Inspector General published a report Thursday...

Aid for Furloughed Feds, Blended Retirement Opt-In Window Closes, and More

January 16, 2019 A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill Tuesday to allow federal workers at shuttered agencies to temporarily tap into their 401(k)-style retirement accounts to help cope with missed paychecks during the partial government shutdown. The Financial Relief for Feds Act (H.R. 545), introduced by Reps. Pete Olson, R-Texas; Don...

Judge Denies Restraining Order in Shutdown Suits, Citing Potential for 'Chaos and Confusion'

January 15, 2019 U.S. District Judge Richard Leon on Tuesday declined to issue a temporary restraining order barring federal agencies from forcing employees to work without pay, citing such a ruling’s potential for “chaos,” but offered a swift avenue to consider a preliminary injunction. Last week, the National Treasury Employees Union, National Air...

Senate Republicans Hatch Plan to Prevent Future Shutdowns

January 14, 2019 A group of nine Republican senators has an idea to avoid government shutdowns in the future: remove the concept of a shutdown from the appropriations process. The End Government Shutdowns Act (S. 104), introduced by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and eight of his Republican colleagues last week, would stipulate that...

Judge Consolidates Shutdown Lawsuits, Schedules Hearing This Week

January 14, 2019 A federal judge on Tuesday will hear arguments on whether to issue a temporary restraining order blocking federal agencies from ordering employees to report to work without prompt pay during the partial government shutdown. Last week, the National Treasury Employees Union, National Air Traffic Controllers Association and five federal workers...

Lawsuits: Making Feds Work During Shutdown Violates 13th Amendment

January 11, 2019 A trio of lawsuits filed by federal employees this week argue that the law that allows agencies to require them to report to work without pay during a shutdown violates the Constitution’s due process protections and the prohibition against slavery. The National Treasury Employees Union, the National Air Traffic Controllers...

Federal Unions Decry Government 'Lock Out' At Rally

January 10, 2019 On the eve of the day that most federal workers will miss paychecks for the first time since the start of the partial government shutdown, union officials, Democratic lawmakers and impacted workers marched to the White House to demand a swift end to what they repeatedly called a “lock out.”...

House Approves Spending Bill With 1.9 Percent Civilian Pay Raise in Latest Attempt to Reopen Government

January 10, 2019 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The House on Wednesday voted 240-188 to approve the first of four appropriations bills in Democrats’ latest effort to end a partial government shutdown, now in its 19th day. But although some Senate Republicans appeared to waver on keeping portions of the government closed over President Trump’s demands for $5.7...