A New York lawmaker on Sunday lamented the fact that members of Congress are continued to be paid during the partial government shutdown while hundreds of thousands of federal employees, including Homeland Security workers, are not.
What’s more, GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin said that if lawmakers weren’t being paid there would be a budget deal within minutes.
In a Sunday appearance on New York AM 970 radio’s “The Cats Roundtable” with John Catsimatidis, Zeldin acknowledged that “it’s difficult to miss one paycheck. It becomes increasingly difficult to miss a second paycheck.”
That said, he added, “I really do believe that you should lock every member of Congress in a room, bring the president in, no phones, no pay, you’re not leaving until there’s white smoke; you need to negotiate, compromise with each other, with the president. And I think you can have a deal within maybe it’s 45 minutes, maybe it’s four hours.”
“It’s crazy to me that you have members of Congress getting paid while … you have Coast Guardsmen who are not,” he noted further.
Other members of Congress agree, and one — freshman Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) — has asked that his pay be withheld until a budget deal is worked out that includes funding for the president’s border barriers.
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