U.S. Senator Doug Jones released a statement Thursday in response to the Senate’s failed efforts to reopen the government.
Jones has requested for his pay be withheld until the shutdown has ended and federal employees have started receiving pay again.
Below is Senator Doug Jones' full statement:
“I am disappointed that we have again failed our constituents by not finding a consensus path forward to reopen the government. I am especially disappointed because I was one of the few Democratic voices that did not reject the President’s Saturday proposal out of hand. Instead, I said that I viewed it as a positive step toward good faith efforts to find common ground. I did so because I truly believe we need to work together to reopen the government. But as has all too often been the case with this Administration, when it comes time for legislation rather than media announcements, the President adds provisions that are unacceptable. When I saw what the President had added to the plan he announced just five days ago, particularly as it pertains to the limitations and additional hardships placed on families and children who are legitimately seeking refuge in this country from violence in their own countries, and doing so through the legal asylum process, I could not vote for it despite my consistent support for stronger border security.
“However, along with six of my Republican colleagues, I fulfilled my commitment to the thousands of federal employees and contractors to immediately re-open the government, as well as the farmers of south Alabama who were hit so hard by Hurricane Michael, by supporting an amendment that would have funded the government through February 8. That measure would have provided members of Congress additional time to work toward a compromise on border security while allowing furloughed employees and contractors the opportunity to go back to work and receive the back pay they deserve. This amendment would have also provided approximately $12 billion in immediate disaster relief funding. Unfortunately, it was clear from the start that neither plan had a path to passing the Senate, much less becoming law, so I reiterate my call to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stop negotiating only within their own caucuses. How can we ever expect the people of this country to come together if our leaders won’t sit down and work to find common ground? I am committed to doing that. We need to reach across the aisle and end the growing crisis within our borders created by this government shutdown. Our dedicated federal employees and contractors need to be able to get back to work and receive their paychecks so that the security of our country is not placed in further jeopardy.”