BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Senate vote Thursday night brought 800,000 federal workers one step closer to the promise of a paycheck when the government reopens.
Sponsored by Maryland democratic senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, the legislation cleared the first major hurdle on the way to guaranteeing back pay.
Next, the bill will go to a vote in the house. If it passes, President Trump has reportedly said that he would sign the bill into law.
It’s bittersweet news for federal employees working without pay or furloughed because there still isn’t any deal in place to restore government funding.
As the stand-off between the White House and Democrat leaders intensifies, the question is now whether or not the president will declare a national emergency to dodge Congress and build a wall.
As negotiation efforts failed for the twentieth day of the shutdown, President Trump headed to the Texas border.
In Washington, those out of a job delivered a message to his doorstep.
Employees, labor leaders, and Maryland’s lawmakers called for the shutdown to end.
“Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans, cut it out,” said Van Hollen. “Open the government and end this unnecessary and shameful government shutdown and do it now.”
Ben Cardin couldn’t see the sense in the shutdown.
“There is no reason that government should be shut down,” said Cardin. “None whatsoever. It’s more than just the 800,000, it’s the people of America who are being denied the services they need. It’s our economy that’s suffering as a result of President Trump’s policies.”
The vote on back pay will go to the house Friday.