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Missouri congress members weigh in on possible government shutdown

UPDATE: U.S. Senators have failed to pass a short-term spending bill to avoid a shutdown of the federal government.

ORIGINAL: With a midnight deadline looming over lawmakers in Washington D.C. to pass a funding bill and to avoid a government shutdown, some Missouri congress members are weighing in on the possibility.

Immigration and border security issues are at the center of the debate among lawmakers. Senate Democrats are pushing for protection for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The House passed a temporary bill Thursday to fund the government through mid-February. Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler said the Senate not being able to pass a funding bill is frustrating.

“As of right now there’s no pending crisis immediately that would cause this shutdown and yet there are forcing this and it’s just irresponsible on their part,” she said.

Hartlzer said a government shutdown wouldn’t have huge impacts on Missourians, but said it would make it difficult for military operations. Many civilian Department of Defense employees and contractors would be placed on furlough and would not be able to work.

“Of course, we have Whiteman Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood in our district,” she said. “It’s an entire team concept. We need every person there to keep things going.”

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill introduced the No Government No Pay Act of 2018 Friday to withhold the pay of Congress members during a government shutdown. Right now, members of Congress would still receive paychecks if a shutdown occurred.

“If members of Congress can’t figure this out and keep the government open, then none of us should get paid,” McCaskill said in a press release Friday afternoon.

The Senate is expected to vote on the House bill at 9 p.m. CST Friday.

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