By: Brian Evans

As the now prolonged government shutdown hits the end of the third week, Republicans are working to end the stalemate, as Democrat leaders vow to hold the line and deny the President the funding needed to secure the southern border. Even as President Trump has proposed giving concessions to the Democrats to resolve the border issue and re-open the government, Democrats refuse to negotiate or compromise. As a result, it has left the President and Republican Congressional leaders with few options.

As a result, numerous Republicans have refused to collect their paycheck, as long as those Federal workers have to sacrifice their paychecks during the shutdown. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) is one of those Congressional leaders giving up pay during the shutdown…

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Rep. Dan Crenshaw

@RepDanCrenshaw

I cannot in good conscience get paid while federal employees’ financial futures hang in the balance because of this partial government shutdown. I’ve asked the Chief Administrative Officer to withhold my pay until we have come to an agreement to adequately fund border security.

Also, other Republicans like Representative Greg Pence (R-IN) announced that he would not accept his pay until the southern border is secured. Representative Kevin Hern (R-OK) is donating his salary from the shutdown to veterans organizations and says that they deserve the money over members of Congress, as Congressional Democrats have refused to compromise or even try to work towards border security, in the midst of a partial government shutdown. Hern said…

“I’ve long held the belief that if you don’t do your job, you shouldn’t get paid. Being elected to Congress shouldn’t exempt us from the standards that any employer would hold. If Congress can’t fund the government, we shouldn’t be paid for failing to do our Constitutional duty.”

Now, Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), who joined in with his fellow Republican colleagues to withhold his pay, has introduced a bill on the Senate floor Thursday, called the “No Work, No Pay Act”, that would withhold the pay of members of Congress during the entirety of future government shutdowns. It is being sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)

Daines told Congressional members that…

“Members of Congress are sent to Washington, D.C., to represent the great people of their state and keep the federal government open, working and funded. So it’s simple. If they can’t do that, they shouldn’t get paid. No work, no pay.”

The bill was met with enthusiasm by numerous Republican colleagues like Cornyn who said…

Senator John Cornyn

@JohnCornyn

Today, it appears that the Republican Party is rallying behind the bill, as the shutdown threatens to loom on, but Democrats appear to be less than enthusiastic. Daine’s Deputy Communication Director Katie Schoettler said…

“The Senator is very hopeful his colleagues will follow suit as this is a very important issue in bringing accountability to Washington, D.C.”

Also, House Representative John Curtis (R-UT) introduced a similar bill, which would effectively make it illegal to pay congressional members during future government shutdowns. In addition, Representatives Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Susan Brooks (R-IN), Scott Tipton (R-CO) and Morgan Griffith (R-VA) joined in on the legislation to guarantee federal workers pay during shutdowns!

Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) said that…

“Democrats aren’t the only people who want this shutdown to end. Republicans have tried to compromise, but Democrats won’t come to the table and negotiate in good faith. I cannot let federal employees take the fall for Democrats’ grandstanding, so I am withholding my pay until this partial shutdown ends”

President Trump said that he wants to find an end to the shutdown so it can come to a conclusion, and he has made multiple concessions to the Democrats to find a way forward. However, the President said  The Hill

President Trump on Friday said he will hold off on declaring a national emergency to circumvent Congress and begin building his long-promised border wall, at least for the time being.

Trump told reporters at the White House that he has the authority to make an emergency declaration to jump-start wall construction, but said, “I’m not going to do it so fast.”…

…The White House is now making preparations for the shutdown to last weeks longer, an administration official confirmed to The Hill.

The Office of Management and Budget is gearing up for the partial shutdown to continue through February, and aides have discussed using Trump’s Jan. 29 State of the Union to admonish Democrats over their opposition to his $5.7 billion request for border wall funding.

In the meantime, Breitbart News reported that…

Federal Reserve and other government regulators issued guidance to banks and lenders, on Friday issued guidance to banks and other lenders encouraging them to offer relief to customers affected by the partial U.S. government shutdown.

“Affected borrowers may face a temporary hardship in making payments on debts such as mortgages, student loans, car loans, business loans or credit cards,” the agencies said in a joing statement. “As they have in prior shutdowns, the agencies encourage financial institutions to consider prudent efforts to modify terms on existing loans or extend new credit to help affected borrowers.”

While the guidance does not require banks to extend more generous terms, many banks are likely to do so in order to maintain their relationships with borrowers and other customers, according to a senior banker who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“Federal employees are great bank customers because they have steady employment, steady incomes. You don’t want to ding them for missing a payment because the government missed a paycheck,” the banker said.

The guidance essentially gives the regulatory green light to providing relief to these customers by promising not to penalize banks for temporarily loosening standards.

Therefore, while the Democrat leadership refuse to compromise or work with the President or Congressional Republicans to bringing the shutdown to a swift conclusion, the President, along with various agencies, and Congressional Republicans have launched efforts to quickly alleviate any serious financial strains to the federal employee caused as a result of the shutdown, and prevent it from happening in future shutdowns, if not end shutdowns in the future. Especially being Republicans have proposed halting Congressional pay during shutdowns as well!

 

 

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