Bill aims to ease credit concerns during shutdown

Just months after the end of the longest partial government shutdown in history, one lawmaker wants to ensure that certain finances of federal employees — and consumers alike — are protected.

Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) has introduced the “Shutdown Guidance for Financial Institutions Act.” The legislation would require federal financial regulators to issue guidance that encourages banks and other financial institutions to work with consumers and businesses affected by a federal government shutdown. 

It calls for “prudent efforts” to be made by lenders to modify existing loan terms or extend credit; consider that those affected by a shutdown may have limited access to credit and may face temporary hardship; and take steps to prevent adverse information from being reported to the credit bureaus.

“I heard directly from one [constituent] who was denied a mortgage due to a government shutdown she couldn’t control—and I knew there were many more stories like hers,” Wexton said in a statement, adding, “Federal workers and contractors are expected to shoulder the financial burdens incurred from a government shutdown they can’t control or predict.”

Financial regulators would have to issue a guidance alert to financial institutions within 24 hours of the start of a shutdown. A report on the effectiveness of the guidance would also be required within 90 days after the government reopens.

Reader comments

Thu, Apr 25, 2019

I got a lot of time off during Reagan! Wexton should propose a means for Feds to have penalty free access to their TSP funds for more specified emergencies, rather than this hope and prayer notion.

Wed, Apr 24, 2019

It would be better for them to pass a bill making it illegal to have a shutdown in the first place and requiring them to do their job!

Tue, Apr 23, 2019

Seems like a better alternative would be to pass a FY budget ON TIME for a change. Do the job you were voted in to do. We all have to stick to a budget, it's not rocket science!

Tue, Apr 23, 2019

No Government shutdown equals no problems for workers. Pass a bill to do your job.

Tue, Apr 23, 2019

Meanwhile, before this shutdown, the top three worst shutdowns were by Carter, Clinton and Obama.

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Mike Causey Columnist
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst