- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 24, 2020

One senator thinks her colleagues should share the financial pain of the Americans being laid off as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.

Sen. Martha McSally, Arizona Republican, introduced a bill Tuesday that would withhold pay from all senators until they pass a COVID-19 relief and support package.

“If Americans aren’t getting paid, then neither should the Senators failing to support the workers and families who need help making ends meet,” Ms. McSally said in a statement.

Senate Democrats have twice blocked votes on a relief bill that would spend hundreds of billions on coronavirus work and economic support, and House Democrats have pushed a bill larded with such non-coronavirus-related provisions as diversity requirements, pro-union rules, airline-emission requirements and a $15 minimum-wage requirement.

Republicans have accused them of playing politics, pushing a “socialist wish list” with a potential national catastrophe at stake.

“It is despicable that millions of Americans are without a paycheck in this time of crisis, while the Senate wastes precious time playing political games. The Senate must pass this relief package now in order to get cash straight to the people,” Ms. McSally said.

Ms. McSally’s bill is unlikely to pass as long as the relief bill itself can’t pass. But another Republican lawmaker took a concrete step of his own Tuesday.

Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina said he would decline his salary until a coronavirus relief package has passed on Capitol Hill and urged other lawmakers to follow suit.

“Struggling Americans don’t need the political tactics and radical agenda-setting of the DC political class while they face a crisis,” Mr. Walker said. “Until they can get over their bickering, I urge my colleagues to join me in forgoing pay until they can choose people over politics and get a relief bill to President Trump’s desk.”

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