Mitch McConnell And His Gang Are Getting Paid During Government Shutdown
While the government shutdown is hitting one group of federal workers particularly hard, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Senators are in no hurry to reopen the government and make life easier for workers. The reason? Well, they are actually getting paid during the shutdown.
Roughly 800,000 government employees have already begun missing paychecks because of the shutdown and likely won’t see back pay until after it’s resolved. Some workers have been told that they could be seeing a gaping hole in their paychecks, other workers aren’t going to be paid at all.
As noted by VOX, “hundreds of contractors in federal buildings including janitors, security guards, and cafeteria servers are not only experiencing a sharp break in their work schedules, they also won’t be compensated for this pause, according to 32BJ SEIU, a labor union that represents many building service workers caught up in this shutdown. Additionally, thousands of contractors in roles ranging from IT to project management to research are potentially caught in a similar bind.”
“My supervisor told me we won’t be getting paid,” Bonita Williams, a janitor at the State Department told the Washington Post, “so my bills won’t be getting paid.”
Mitch McConnel and Congress members, meanwhile, will see no breaks in their pay whatsoever. Unlike other government employees, they won’t even have to rely on back pay because their salaries are written into the Constitution and will be continuous throughout the shutdown. No wonder Republicans are blocking Democrats push to reopen the government.
A growing number of lawmakers, including Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Reps. French Hill (R-AR) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), have said they’d like their salaries withheld until the partial shutdown is over. Others including Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are donating their salaries during this time.
The government officially went into a partial shutdown in late December after President Trump demanded over $5 Billion for his border wall.
The president has falsely claimed that workers support the shutdown. Unions disagree.
“Many of those workers have said to me and communicated, ‘stay out until you get the funding for the wall,’” he said in December. “These federal workers want the wall.”
Not so, says groups including 32BJ SEIU, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, and the American Federation for Government Employees, all of which are unions representing government employees or contractors.
“The president falsely claims that ‘many’ federal workers support the shutdown and have told him to ‘stay out,’” says IFPTE President Paul Shearon in a statement. “We have not heard from a single member who supports the president’s inaction. Most view this as an act of ineptitude.”
As things stand, it’s not exactly clear what that solution will look like.