November 20, 2019

Van Hollen Introduces the Shutdown Guidance for Financial Institutions Act

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) introduced the Shutdown Guidance for Financial Institutions Act. This legislation requires federal financial industry regulators to immediately issue guidance encouraging financial institutions to work with individuals and small businesses impacted by a government shutdown.

Right now, this is happening far too slowly. During the last Trump Shutdown, it took 20 days for that guidance to be released – all while civil servants, federal contractors, and small businesses struggled to make ends meet during a crisis that was not of their doing. This isn’t just a problem in the moment – it can impact people’s credit scores, which has serious consequences over the long term.

“After each shutdown, I hope that Congress and the President will finally learn their lesson. But this week, we are only kicking the can down the road a month, and we still face the threat of a government shutdown before the end of the year,” said Senator Van Hollen. “This bill is just common sense. If we face another Trump Shutdown, we must do everything we can to protect consumers, federal workers, contractors, and small businesses. Issuing this guidance promptly is a small way to do that, and I urge the Senate to consider this legislation without delay.”

The companion bill, which was introduced by Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.), passed unanimously earlier this fall in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation is endorsed by the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

“For federal employees a government shutdown can have a lasting effect. Sen. Van Hollen understands that. His bill to protect the credit ratings of federal employees who miss paychecks because of a shutdown is an important way to help mitigate the consequences of a situation outside of their control,” said Tony Reardon, National President of the National Treasury Employees Union. “NTEU strongly supports this legislation and thanks Sen. Van Hollen for his efforts to alleviate some of the anxiety federal employees experience during a government shutdown.”

To read the full text of the bill, click here.