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Federal employees going back to work; Sen. Mark Warner and others negotiate compromise

After spending much of the week listening to federal workers in Virginia, Sen. Mark Warner and a group of 15 senators from both parties took to the Senate floor Jan. 25 to call for a temporary reopening of the government to allow for a negotiation on a bipartisan border security bill. The President embraced this bargain in a Rose Garden press conference, and the Senate passed that agreement unanimously.

It appears there’s finally an end in sight.


Sen. Warner returned from the Senate floor, where he welcomed the news of the President accepting an offer that would reopen the government for three weeks while Congressional Republicans and Democrats negotiate a bipartisan border security bill.

In his floor remarks, Sen. Warner called for federal employees and contractors to be allowed to return to work and receive the paychecks they deserve. He also highlighted the irreversible damage done to small businesses around Virginia and hundreds of thousands of workers, and called for the passage of a bill that would give back pay to low-wage federal contractors who will otherwise never collect the wages they lost during the 35-day shutdown.

Stressing the need to settle on a permanent solution and prevent a future lapse in appropriations, Sen. Warner emphasized his willingness to compromise on funding effective border security measures, such as the increased screening of vehicles and cargo.  He also called for the Senate to prevent the future use of government shutdowns as leverage for negotiations by passing legislation that would automatically maintain level funding for the federal government in the event of a future lapse in appropriations.

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