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Arizona Senator refuses pay until government shutdown ends

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jan 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-10 20:02:41-05

U.S. Senator Martha McSally is refusing to accept pay until the partial-government shutdown ceases, according to a letter McSally sent the financial clerk of the U.S. senate on Thursday, January 10, 2019.

“Today, I requested that my pay be withheld until the partial government shutdown is over, and I cosponsored legislation to block Members of Congress from receiving a paycheck when a budget and funding bills aren’t completed by the start of the fiscal year,” Sen. McSally said.

“I also just introduced legislation to pay federal law enforcement officers as they continue to serve during the partial shutdown. 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. Let’s break the gridlock and find a path forward to secure our border and fund the government.”

It has been 19 days since the shutdown began, leaving many government employees furlowed, and working without pay. Some have gone nearly two weeks without receiving a paycheck and bills and financial strains are starting to accumulate.

On the national level, Trump has gotten closer to declaring a national emergency during the shutdown, still pushing Congress to fund his long-promised border wall.

For federal employees in the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, McSally advocated for them to receive pay during the shutdown with the Pay Our Protectors Act.

With regards to members of Congress, McSally also co-sponsored the No Budget, No Pay Act, which says they would not be paid until a budget and appropriation bills are completed by the start of the fiscal year at the federal level.

However, on Dec. 20, McSally voted on a a spending plan that included $5 billion for a wall, as Trump has demanded. Sinema did not.

Though Sinema has not said anything recently, she has repeatedly described the wall as a "waste of taxpayer money" and implied a "barrier" may slightly upgrade border security.