A group of Republican lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday that would ensure federal law enforcement and other “essential personnel” are paid during the ongoing partial government shutdown.
Reps. Bob Gibbs (Ohio), Susan Brooks (Ind.), Scott Tipton (Colo.), Morgan Griffith (Va.), and Mark Meadows (N.C.) introduced the Providing Pay for Essential Employees Act, the Daily Caller first reported.
The legislation ensures that members of the federal workforce deemed “essential” to national security and key government functions such as “air traffic controllers, Border Patrol agents, and federal law enforcement officials, among others” who must work are paid throughout the shutdown.
As he introduced the legislation, Gibbs laid the blame for the partial shutdown at the feet of Democrats who are refusing to provide POTUS Donald Trump his requested $5.7 billion for border barrier construction.
“While Democrats continue to play politics with border security, federal employees dedicated to their mission of keeping America safe and our border secure are still going to work knowing they will be missing their paychecks,” Gibbs said in a statement.
“They should not be caught in the middle of political ploys by politicians who are not serious about securing our border.”
Some 420,000 of the 800,000 federal employees whose agencies are affected by the shutdown are deemed “essential,” according to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Gibbs said it is all important for Congress to act to make sure individuals “working to protect America and the lives of our citizens” get “their paychecks on time.”
“We shouldn’t be forcing these men and women to shoulder the burden of Democrats’ unwillingness to work with President Trump and congressional Republicans to solve the humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border,” he said.
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