Utah Rep Asks For His Pay to be Withheld Until Partial Government Shutdown Ends

December 24, 2018 Updated: December 25, 2018

A Utah representative asked the clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 21, to withhold his pay until the partial government shutdown is over.

Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) took to Twitter to make his request, saying that “Congress must be held accountable” for the partial shutdown over border security.

He added that “if we can’t do our job, we shouldn’t get paid.”

The House and the Senate were adjourned on Dec. 21, forcing the partial government shutdown after lawmakers failed to reach a compromise on budget legislation. The key stumbling block in the discussions is President Donald Trump’s request of $5.7 billion to build a wall on the border with Mexico. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell sent senators home until Dec. 27, after there appeared to be no immediate hope of a new deal on the bill.

The partial shutdown, which has entered its third day, has impacted 25 percent of the government and 15 percent of the federal workforce, officials said. More than 420,000 government employees would be working without pay and over 380,000 would be furloughed, according to the projection by Senate Appropriations Committee staff.

Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), said in an interview with Fox News Sunday on Dec. 23, that the partial shutdown could potentially continue until next year. He added that the White House had since reduced the requested $5 billion in border-wall funding and hopes the Democrats can move higher than the $1.3 billion amount floated previously.

He also added that federal paychecks would go out Dec. 28, and only their future pay period, scheduled on Jan. 11, would be affected.

“It’s very possible this shutdown will go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress,” Mulvaney said.

It’s unclear how long the shutdown will last. Democrats have repeatedly opposed Trump’s requested border wall funding. Trump also indicated that the shutdown could last for longer than usual because of their opposition.

Trump Will Not Back Down on Wall

The president canceled plans for a scheduled Christmas vacation in Florida and are staying in Washington D.C. because of the partial government shutdown, according to a tweet on Dec. 22. Trump previously said he would stay in the nation’s capital if Congress couldn’t reach a solution. First Lady Melania Trump, who had already left for Florida, will also return to Washington.

In a series of posts during the shutdown, Trump continued to appeal for the border wall.

“The most important way to stop gangs, drugs, human trafficking, and massive crime is at our Southern Border. We need Border Security, and as EVERYONE knows, you can’t have Border Security without a Wall,” Trump wrote on Dec. 23.

In one of his latest posts he said, “The Wall is different than the 25 Billion Dollars in Border Security. The complete Wall will be built with the Shutdown money plus funds already in hand. The reporting has been inaccurate on the point. The problem is, without the Wall, much of the rest of Dollars are wasted!”

He added that he was waiting for “the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed border security” in another tweet on Dec. 24.

Meanwhile earlier today, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced that Trump will meet with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Dec. 24, to “discuss border security,” reported The Washington Times.

Epoch Times reporter Bowen Xiao contributed to this report.

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