End the shutdown, then debate border security

Updated 1/17/2019 3:32 PM

As I passed through security for my flight to Washington this week, I spoke with a TSA agent who is now working without pay because of the government shutdown. She is a single mother raising a 15-year-old daughter, and she told me her family is struggling to make ends meet without her paycheck. This story is not unique. There are more than 800,000 federal employees, the people who work on our behalf, in similar situations. And we are failing them.

This shutdown is now the longest in American history, and it is completely unnecessary. It is true that I and my party have serious disagreements with President Trump about how to best secure our border. I believe there are more effective and efficient ways than a concrete wall. But we do not have disagreement over funding the rest of government. Why deny paychecks to hardworking families and cripple our federal agencies over an unrelated debate?

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My message to the president: stop holding these workers hostage and reopen the government. Pay the TSA agents working to keep our skies safe, fund the IRS so Americans can get their tax refunds on time, make sure the men and women serving in our Coast Guard do not miss another paycheck. Then let's have an honest, full-throated debate about the border.

Until then, I have committed to return my salary to the U.S. Treasury because I cannot in good conscience accept pay when so many families go without.

U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, 10th District


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