Government Shutdown: Byrne introduces bill to pay Coast Guard, Jones calls it a "band aid"
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) —
Right now, the men and women of the US Coast Guard are not being paid, because of the great divide between two political parties and the president and the partial federal government shutdown now in its 20th day.
But when it comes to the Coast Guard, could a temporary bridge be built to keep their paychecks coming?
"If they are doing the work we expect them to do, which is critically important work, not just for the people of our area, but across america, we should pay them," said South Alabama Republican Congressman Bradley Byrne.
Byrne said he's introduced what he calls a "rifle shot bill" in the House of Representatives that would bring relief only to the Coast Guard.
"It doesn't aim at any other part of the government except the Coast Guard personnel. And it would simply say that whatever else is happening in the federal government, if it is shutdown or otherwise, that our coast guard personnel would receive their pay," Byrne said.
It could be a tough battle, because every congressman has some set of government employees they feel is essential. And if it passed the house, what would the Senate say?
"Yes, I would absolutely look at that..." Senator Doug Jones replied.
While Jones said he wouldn't rule it out, he calls the measure and others like it "band aid" fixes, band aids that he fears, will only prolong the shutdown.
"Let's do what we can to open the government and not just provide these band aids that could get ripped off at any moment by either the whim of either the administration or another congress at some point. So let's get the government open," said Jones.