Today the House and Senate were in session but did not take any action to address the shutdown. Tomorrow the 116th Congress convenes, with Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives while Republicans maintain control of the Senate. The House has announced plans to take up legislation to reopen agencies by passing full-year funding for six of the seven remaining appropriations bills and a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) for the Department of Homeland Security that would last until February 8th. Included in the package is the Senate-passed 1.9% pay increase (1.4% across the board increase plus 0.5% locality pay) as well as back pay for those employees impacted by the shutdown. Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called me to discuss efforts to reopen the federal government. On the call, Senator Schumer voiced his commitment to standing with NTEU and federal workers.
President Trump met with House and Senate leaders this afternoon to discuss the shutdown and border security. However, it appears that no progress was made and the stalemate will continue. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he will only vote on a bill that the President will sign and will not take up the proposed House package.
On this 12th day of the government shutdown, it is imperative that Congress and the Administration work together to reopen the government, get employees back to work, and ensure that they receive back pay and a pay increase. I will keep you updated on further developments. For more information, please visit NTEU.org.