Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy criticized his fellow members of Congress on Monday for leaving Washington D.C. during the government shutdown rather than working to pass an appropriations bill to re-open it.
“Hello to all my friends back home in Texas — I wish I was there this week where I planned to be. I wish I was with my family,” Roy said in an open letter to his constituents. “But I’m here in my office where I’ve been all weekend. And this is frankly where I think Congress ought to be, but it’s not, and this is what’s wrong with Washington.”
I’ve been in Washington all weekend – why hasn’t Congress been in session? We don’t need another week of show votes before flying out again… we need to #DoOurJob pic.twitter.com/7QPySKxWG5
— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) January 22, 2019
“What we’re going to get this week is the Speaker [of the House Nancy Pelosi] coming back in, gaveling us in, having a handful of show votes, and then leaving town again,” Roy continued. “This is what you sent me to Washington to try to change. That’s why I’m here.”
The House passed a stopgap funding bill on Dec. 20 that included $5.7 billion to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, however, with a 51-seat majority, Republicans fell short of the necessary 60 votes needed to send it to President Donald Trump’s desk for signature. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to kill the legislation on arrival in the Senate, and consequently, a partial government shutdown has been in effect since funding expired Dec. 21.
Both sides of the aisle have been locked in a political stalemate over an appropriations bill, and despite the hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal workers, Congress has been spotted leaving D.C. on the weekends. (RELATED: Nancy Pelosi Vacations In Luxurious Hawaiian Resort Amid Government Shutdown)
Pelosi notably received backlash for spending the Christmas holiday vacationing in a luxurious four-diamond resort in Hawaii. She was also spotted two weeks later in Reagan National Airport after Trump canceled her trip overseas.
“I think the men and women who are working for us deserve to be paid, but I don’t think that’s a false choice to say that you have to have that and not secure out border,” Roy said. “Of course we should secure our border. We can do both of these things. The American people expect us to do both of these things. And that’s why I’m here.”
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