WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Elaine Luria has asked that her pay be withheld during a partial government shutdown that has now entered its 14th day.
One day before she was sworn in to represent the 2nd Congressional district, Luria wrote a letter to the Chief Administrative Officer of the House Phillip Kiko.
The letter reads in-part:
“I understand that despite a lapse of appropriations and the current partial government shutdown, under current law, Members of Congress will continue to receive their salary.
As a 20 year Navy veteran with firsthand knowledge of how government shutdowns threaten our military preparedness and readiness, I do not believe it is fair or appropriate for Members of Congress to continue to receive their paychecks while federal employees and their families suffer.
I ask that you withhold my pay until all federal employees have been made whole and the critical work they do is funded.”
In a press release, she highlighted essential workers like border security agents, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U.S. Coast Guard members must work without pay during the shutdown.
Luria’s district hosts the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, Fifth Coast Guard District, Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads totaling more than 2,000 Coast Guard members.
According to the Federal Guidance, Coast Guard service members received a one-time stipend on Dec. 31, but their next pay period on Jan. 15 is not guaranteed.
House Democrats on Thursday passed a bill that could re-open the government. The Associated Press reports this bill does not include funding for President Donald Trump’s promised border wall.
Trump is demanding billions of dollars to build his wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
Congressional leaders from both parties met with Trump at the White House Wednesday, and are invited back for another round of talks on Friday after failing to make progress.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer urged Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put the House Democratic package on the Senate floor and send it to the president, saying it would show Trump “the sweet light of reason.”
McConnell has dismissed the idea as a “total nonstarter” and a waste of time.