Democrat Reminds Matt Gaetz That Federal Workers’ Paychecks Aren’t A Thought Exercise

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During a recent hearing of the House Rules Committee, panel member Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) confronted several prominent Republicans in the House, including Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), and Andy Biggs (Ariz.), about issues of government funding as federal operations hurtle towards a potential shutdown. Major funding will start running out within what’s now just days.

This hearing took place on Friday, September 22, and Neguse specifically pressured these Republicans about, among other issues, whether they’d support a temporary extension of previous funding approvals, which would keep needed paychecks coming for government workers and ensure key services remain protected.

In the course of the discussion, Gaetz suggested that the absence of the agreement on near-future spending that a continuing resolution (CR) would provide could be a boost to the negotiations process in which these Republicans keep desperately trying to promote their ideals. The idea is they’d have urgency on their side. (Approving a CR is that process of temporarily extending past approvals for funding.) “I don’t think that’s an acceptable answer for the vast majority of people who will be impacted in a negative way by the government shutting down,” Neguse replied.

In other words, the Colorado Democrat argued that Republicans’ ideological concerns — formalized in various bills created with what Neguse described as a lack of basic bipartisan input, which evidences just a lack of seriousness — can’t trump the basic needs of Americans. “[I] wish that Republicans would have started this much, much sooner, so that we wouldn’t be seven days away from a shutdown,” Neguse added.

Gaetz was resistant to the idea that there’d even be a necessarily direct impact on paychecks for personnel like border agents, quibbling over the precise dates when pay would go out. (And Boebert complained about Democrats supposedly exploiting Americans’ “heart strings” by pointing out these potential consequences.) “The notion that we’re now debating the fine details as to whether or not members of our armed forces or border patrol officers are going to actually get pay checks down the road a month from now, two months from now, or what date the paycheck comes in, and so therefore they can find a way to make things work in the interim, is insanity,” Neguse frustratedly added.

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