The government shutdown that has been in place since shortly after midnight on Saturday has affected nearly a million federal employees. Many of these employees have been forced to work without pay or to take leave. However, the shutdown has not affected the salaries being paid out to U.S. senators.
Despite this, some of those in the senate don’t feel that it is right that they should continue to be paid while so many others are being forced to go without. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) shared — shortly after the news of the shutdown — that she would be donating her salary to a charity for every single day that parts of the federal government were frozen out, according to MSN.
“I cannot take a salary during a government shutdown knowing that so many federal workers in Nevada and across the country will go without pay,” Cortez Masto tweeted shortly after the shutdown began on Saturday. “I’ll be donating my salary to a Nevada charity for every day of the Trump shutdown.”
She also wrote another tweet, one in which she criticized President Donald Trump for once again bringing the country to a standstill — this time around the holidays.
It’s not the first time that Cortez Masto has donated her salary during a government shutdown. In January, during the first shutdown this year, she donated her salary to her constituents for the duration of the lockout.
This latest shutdown is over the senate’s refusal to approve $5 billion in funding for Trump’s proposed wall on the Mexican border. Their failure to come to an agreement by midnight on Friday was the trigger for the shutdown, which will last until at least Thursday, December 27, given that Washington has been cleared of lawmakers for the Christmas holidays.
On Saturday afternoon, it was announced that Trump was renegotiating the $5 billion demand, and had offered a lower figure, although what that number was has not been publicly disclosed. In the meantime, the senate has only agreed to $1.3 billion, which is believed to be lower than the number Trump is demanding.
The shutdown has left some 800,000 government employees working without pay or on furlough, and the agencies that have been affected include the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Treasury, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Earlier in December, Trump said he would be “proud” to trigger a shutdown if the senate didn’t agree to his demands, and laid the blame at the feet of the Democrats. Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) pointed fingers at Trump’s “temper tantrum” instead.
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