House GOP Leaders: Only 13 Democrats Voted With GOP to Pay Federal Workers During Shutdown

Melanie Arter | January 24, 2019 | 5:20pm EST
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House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), joined by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) (Screenshot)

( - House Republican leaders said Thursday that only 13 Democrats joined with them in voting for legislation to pay all federal government workers - those working during the shutdown and those who are furloughed.

“As the shutdown continues, we’ve been committed to trying to make sure that all of our federal workers get paid. We brought another bill to the floor today that would have paid all federal workers. Last week, a similar bill only got six Democrats. Every Republican voted to pay the workers who had either been working or furloughed during the shutdown," House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said during a Capitol Hill press conference.

“We got six Democrats to vote with us last week. Today, we only got 13 Democrats to vote with us, and so you’re starting to see a growing number of Democrats break from their party leaders and recognize we’ve got to solve this problem,” Scalise said, adding that all Republicans need is eight more Democrats to vote with them to pay all federal workers, “and everybody can get paid.”


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) echoed Scalise’s remarks, saying, “Here is a place where a lot of talk happens, but action speaks louder than words.” He complained that the Democrats are planning to go home on Friday instead of staying to work on a border security compromise.

“For the Democrats to end this week early, to have members go home when federal workers are going to go to a second paycheck that they do not receive. On the floor this week, the Republicans proposed paying all the federal employees. Only 13 Democrats would join with us,” he said.

Freshman Rep. Dan Crenshaw tweeted Thursday about the defeat of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 (H.R. 648), which also would have paid federal workers during the shutdown. According to the final vote roll call on a motion to recommit with instructions, only 10 Democrats who voted in favor of the bill.

The bill states: “The Act includes language in Division G to provide departments and agencies funded in the Act with the necessary authorities to provide backpay to employees as soon as practicable in accordance with section 1341(c) of title 31, United States Code (as added by the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019).

“It is the Committee’s intent to cover all required obligations for Federal employees for the period which began on or about December 22, 2018 during which there occurred a lapse in appropriations. In addition, Division G includes language to reimburse State, or other Federal grantees consistent with prior precedent following a lapse in appropriations,” it adds.

Crenshaw tweeted Wednesday: “Update: House GOP voted again to pay federal employees. This time just ten Democrats joined us: … Actions speak louder than words.”

Crenshaw tweeted Tuesday about last week’s vote on a bill to pay federal workers during the shutdown: “Big deal that never got reported: Last week, House GOP voted to pay federal employees their 1st paycheck of 2019, despite shutdown. Only 6 Dems voted with us. It failed. Dem priority is not paying workers or opening gov't. It is opposing Trump. …


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