Bill on federal workers back pay in shutdown heads to Trump

first_imgWASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is edging closer to declaring a national emergency to pay for his long-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall as pressure mounts to end the three-week impasse that has closed parts of the government and deprived hundreds of thousands of workers of their salaries.Some 800,000 federal employees, more than half still on the job, were due to miss their first paycheck Friday under a stoppage that neared a record for the longest government shutdown. With the closure’s growing impact on the economy, national parks and food inspections, some Republicans are becoming uncomfortable with Trump’s demands.Lawmakers tried to reassure federal employees on Friday that Congress was aware of the financial hardship they are enduring. By a vote of 411-7, the House passed a bill requiring that all government workers receive retroactive pay after the partial shutdown ends. The Senate approved the bill unanimously Thursday. The president is expected to sign the legislation.Trump visited McAllen, Texas, and the Rio Grande on Thursday to highlight what he calls a crisis of drugs and crime along the border. He said that “if for any reason we don’t get this going” — an agreement with House Democrats who have refused to approve the $5.7 billion he demands for the wall — “I will declare a national emergency.”Trump was consulting with White House lawyers and others about using emergency powers to take action on his own, and over the objections of Congress, to construct the wall. Bypassing Congress’ constitutional control of the nation’s purse strings would lead to certain legal challenges and bipartisan charges of executive overreach. Trump said his lawyers had told him the action would withstand legal scrutiny “100 percent.”last_img

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