- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 20, 2018

Members of Congress are still collecting paychecks during the government shutdown while lower-wage federal workers will go without pay.

Article I, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution allows the lawmakers to still get paid their salaries, despite the federal government being shut down due to their inability to reach an agreement.

A handful of Democrats from Trump-won states during the 2016 election introduced a bill Friday afternoon, hours ahead of the looming shutdown, which would do away with salaries for lawmakers during the period of time the government is officially closed.

“It’s wrong that members of Congress would still get paid in the event of a shutdown while paychecks for members of our military could be disrupted,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Michigan Democrat. “This bill ensures members of Congress will not get paid and another bill I have cosponsored makes sure our troops will.”

Several other members of Congress have taken to Twitter, saying they’ll also forego their paychecks.

During the 2013 government shutdown members of the military, veterans, military families, cafeteria workers, janitors and security guards felt the financial hurt more than most.

Military hospitals and clinics stayed open, but the VA didn’t process disability claims, according to Vox. Grocery stores on military bases also closed down for roughly a week.

Republicans and Democrats couldn’t reach an agreement about whether to legalize millions of illegal immigrants, so Democrats voted against funding the government late Friday night and as of midnight, the government shut down.

Lawmakers were back on Capitol Hill Saturday afternoon, attempting to broker a new compromise.

The Trump administration says it will support full backpay for federal employees once the shutdown is over.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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