WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) recently introduced bipartisan legislation that would protect working families from government shutdowns. The bill would create a zero-interest loan program to be administered by the U.S. Treasury Department in partnership with the banking industry.
The zero-interest Federal and District of Columbia employee loan program:
- Would automatically approve zero-interest loans based on the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury, not the credit score of the federal employee,
- Extends a zero-interest loan for the first 90 days of any government shutdown to any federal employee who has been furloughed or assigned to work without pay,
- Offers a loan amount equal to the covered employee’s salary,
- Requires repayment to begin 30 days after the conclusion of any shutdown,
- Allows covered banks to cap individual loan offerings at $9,000 in the aggregate,
- Allows covered banks to opt out on an annual basis,
- Excludes Members of Congress from receiving zero-interest loans.
Congressman Higgins issued the following statement:
“Government shutdowns have been used by both parties through the years as weapons to coerce ideology or score political points. Each party has used the economic impact on American families as a tool to advance one agenda or another. I think that’s wrong. This legislation pulls the teeth from any shutdown, essentially eliminating a shutdown as a go-to political weapon. It would allow federal employees voluntary access to short-term, zero-interest loans in the event of any government shutdown. American families that sometimes live paycheck to paycheck should not suffer when Congress fails to do its job. Our legislation directly impacts only our largest financial institutions, including those bailed out after the 2008 financial crisis. The listed banks include the ‘too big to fail’ lenders that American treasure helped save. We’re asking them to partner with the federal government to provide American families with economic security in the event of a shutdown.”