US Rep. Sinema crossing fingers sides resolve shutdown soon
PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is holding out hope that the federal shutdown comes to an end Monday and that both sides needed to do their jobs to make that happen.
“I am hopeful,” Sinema (D-Ariz.) told KTAR 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News hours before a short-term funding bill went to the Senate floor (at 10 a.m. Arizona time).
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said negotiations lasted late into Sunday.
Under the proposal taking shape, Democrats would agree to a three-week spending measure — until Feb. 8 — in return for a commitment from the GOP leadership in the Senate to address immigration policy and other pressing legislative matters in the coming weeks.
“Health care, disaster relief, obviously the Dreamer situation and border issues,” Sinema said, still needed attention.
“It’s our job as members of Congress to solve these challenges together.”
McConnell has pledged, Sinema said,”if there’s a bipartisan agreement today to reopen the government, he pledged before Feb. 8 there will be a vote in the U.S. Senate on issues of immigration that’s both for Dreamers and border security.”
Sinema is aware that some Democrats were concerned that an agreement on immigration could dissolve once the stop-gap measure was in place or that the White House would change its mind.
“We don’t know what the president will do or say –- we can’t predict that -– but what Congress can do is dig in and do its job. And that’s what needs to happen [Monday].”
Until Congress does its job, Sinema, for one, will not be getting paid. She has asked the Office of Administration to withhold her pay.
“If you don’t do your job, you shouldn’t get paid. It’s not appropriate,” she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.