Virginia congressional members react to potential government shutdown

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(The Center Square) — Virginia’s members of Congress are busy at work as a government shutdown looms, representing a range of perspectives on the issue.

Rep. Bob Good, R-Lynchburg, is at the heart of the action, urging Democrats to make concessions by Sunday or risk the shutdown. He was interviewed live from the Capitol Thursday evening on MSNBC.

“House Republicans are united in cutting our spending and addressing our border security, but the Democrats in the Senate refuse to go along,” Good told MSNBC news anchor Andrea Mitchell.

“We’re passing our spending bills out of the House trying to break precedent of the last 20 years or so of failure by Congress to do that, and I call on Senate Democrats – and Senate Republicans, for that matter – to join us in cutting our spending, addressing our fiscal situation and securing our border,” Good said.

Rep. Jen Kiggans, R-Virginia Beach, a former Navy helicopter pilot, disagrees. She released a statement expressing her indignation toward House Republicans who voted against the chamber’s Department of Defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2024.

“Today’s actions by five members of my own party – in coordination with every Democrat – are unacceptable and offensive. Every lawmaker who cast a no vote willingly chose to deprive our Armed Forces of the resources and tools they need to confront emerging threats across the globe,” Kiggans said.

On Sept. 22, she introduced the Pay Our Troops Act, enabling service members to continue being paid in the case of a shutdown.

Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Montross, along with 58 other members of the House, including four Democrats, cosponsored.

Wittman also sides with Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Glen Allen, who introduced legislation in May that would deprive Congress members of pay if a shutdown occurs.

“On this, I agree,” he posted on X. “Members of Congress should not be rewarded for shutting down the government.”

He went on to list legislation he has previously authored penalizing members of Congress for “failing to do their job.”

House Democrats and Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine vehemently oppose the shutdown. Warner has posted or reposted about it 20 times since it appeared possible on Sept. 19.

Thursday, Rep. Don Beyer, D-Alexandria, reposted an ABC News interview with Willie Jo Price, a government contractor and cafeteria worker at the Library of Congress.

While most federal employees aren’t paid during a shutdown but receive back pay when it ends, contractors may not.

“Thousands of workers across the country are in the same position. I just can’t understand how anyone would make this happen on purpose,” Beyer wrote.

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