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Kevin McCarthy suggests not paying Congress during a government shutdown

January 27, 2019

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Sunday said he would support docking pay for members of Congress as one way to head off future government shutdowns.

“You want to know how you’ll never have a shutdown again? Let’s not pay the members of Congress and Senate - that’s the bill I would put in,” Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Because this only harms others.”

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries said on the program that Mr. McCarthy is a good man but that the idea sounded like a gimmick.

“The most important thing is making sure we never hold hostage hard-working public servants,” said Mr. Jeffries, New York Democrat.

Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat, last week introduced legislation along those lines that would fund the government at previous-year levels if spending bills lapse except for the legislative branch and the Executive Office of the President.

President Trump on Friday signed a stopgap funding bill through Feb. 15, officially ending the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history after more than a month.

Mr. Trump has said he could orchestrate another shutdown or invoke emergency powers to secure money for his desired U.S.-Mexico border wall if Congress doesn’t come up with a homeland security funding plan to his liking in the next three weeks.

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