Johnson Discusses His Bill to Pay Workers on the Job During Shutdown

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) appeared on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto” Monday to discuss border security and his Shutdown Fairness Act, a bill that would ensure essential federal workers are paid for their work during the partial government shutdown.

Excerpts from the senator’s interview are below, and video can be found here.

On the Shutdown Fairness Act

“It's only fair. Washington, D.C. is dysfunctional enough and it is just true – we have essential personnel in these government agencies, we require them to work, the least we can do is pay them. So I've introduced the Shutdown Fairness Act that would pay about 420,000 federal government workers that are deemed essential. … As long as they're working and trying to keep the nation safe, they should be paid. It’s a pretty simple concept.”

“Hopefully when they hear about a very common sense approach, a fair approach to paying these individuals, we should have every Democrat voting for this. This should pass as easily as the measure that we passed last week that said when the government shutdown ends we'll pay everybody. Why don’t we pay them while they're working.”

On the need for border security funding

“I'm highly concerned about using that national emergency power and authority, primarily because if [the President] uses it, it will be challenged in court and we won't get the wall built. And Neil, we do need better barriers. Walls work. They free up CBP agents to be redeployed at the ports of entry so we can try and capture some of the heroin coming into this country.”

“It’s a growing problem. A quick quotation of some numbers: In 2012, a little more than 11,000 people came into this country illegally, and apprehended as a family unit. Last year, 107,000 people came as a family unit. First three months of this year, 75,000 people. So, Democrats who are minimizing this problem say it's not a crisis – it was a humanitarian crisis during the Obama administration in 2014 when 120,000 people came in as UACs and family units. Last year, 145,000 people came in. This is a growing crisis.”

“The easiest way out of this is for Democrats to stop being hypocrites. You’ve supported better barriers in the past. You say want a secured border.”

“What is really odd about this debate is I’ve never heard a Democrat not want to spend money in the federal government. They just won't spend $5.7 billion because this is President Trump’s priority.”