As pressure builds on Congress, U.S. Sen. Martha McSally said Thursday she has asked the Senate to withhold her pay during the ongoing partial shutdown of the federal government and joined an effort to make sure law enforcement gets paid.
“I don’t believe members of Congress should get paid while those who keep us safe, like our Border Patrol agents and CBP officers at our ports of entry, continue to work tirelessly without pay, not knowing how they’ll afford their rent and support their families,” McSally, R-Ariz., said in a videotaped announcement. “Let’s break the gridlock and find a path forward to secure our border and fund our government.”
Speaking on the 19th day of the shutdown, McSally said she is co-sponsoring legislation that would pay border agents working without pay during the impasse. That follows a similar effort in the House introduced Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.
McSally also co-sponsored a bill that would block members of Congress from receiving a paycheck when budget and funding bills aren’t completed by the start of the fiscal year. That is intended to help change the now-routine practice of tardy budgeting by federal lawmakers.
Like others in Arizona’s congressional delegation, McSally apparently backs the GOP’s overall position in the shutdown. Democrats oppose funding for a border wall, while Republicans support it.
McSally’s announcements came as the Senate unanimously agreed that federal workers should receive back pay whenever the shutdown ends.
The shutdown over President Trump’s demand for nearly $6 billion for a border wall began Dec. 22 and will become the longest shutdown in at least the past 40 years on Saturday. It affects an estimated 800,000 federal workers.
Trump and Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi seem to agree only that they have made no progress toward ending the stalemate.