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US Rep. Andy Biggs sponsors bill to keep paying federal security workers

(AP File Photo)

PHOENIX – An Arizona congressman has introduced a bill that would free up money to pay federal workers responsible for the country’s security during the partial shutdown.

Language from Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs’ Pay Our Protectors Act would pave the way to cover the “salaries and expenses of any officer or employee of the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Transportation and Security Administration, or the E-Verify program.”

Biggs introduced HR 371 on Wednesday, on the 19th day of the shutdown.

The money would be appropriated from the Treasury Department and continue until the appropriations ran out, Biggs’ office said in an email to KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Of the 800,000 or so federal workers financially affected by the shutdown, about 500,000 have been designated “essential” and continue to work without pay.

“As a result of (Democratic) obstruction, thousands of people defending our nation are at risk of missing at least one paycheck. This is wrong,” Biggs said in a statement.

“I call on my colleagues to provide the resources they need to address the crisis at the southern border,” Biggs’ statement continued.

The House voted, 240-188, to pass a bill to reopen the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service and more than 20 other agencies.

President Donald Trump has said he will not sign a bill funding the government unless it included more than $5 billion to pay for a border wall.

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