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By Julie Tsirkin
WASHINGTON — With more than 800,000 federal workers missing their first paychecks on Friday, some lawmakers on Capitol Hill have said they will decline their pay or donate it to charity in solidarity with those affected by the partial government shutdown.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., is one of dozens of members of Congress who have refused pay since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, according to a NBC News count.
When asked by NBC News’ Hallie Jackson on Wednesday if he would be taking a paycheck during the current shutdown, Van Hollen said he wanted to be treated like any other government worker.
“I have instructed the Senate disbursing office to treat me like any other federal employee — at least the 800,000 who are not getting paid right now. So I will not be getting my pay during this period of government shutdown,” said Van Hollen.
At least fourteen of the lawmakers who are refusing or donating their pay are freshman members of Congress, including Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas.
He said in a tweet on Thursday that he, too, will forego his $174,000 salary until lawmakers can “come to an agreement to adequately fund border security.”
A number of lawmakers have said they’ll donate their salary to a worthy cause as long as workers remain without the paychecks.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said in a tweet that all his pay would go to Homes for the Brave, an organization aimed at aiding homeless veterans in Connecticut, while Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., said he would donate his pay to local and national veterans organizations. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, is donating to three food banks in her home state, while Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., is giving to a National Guard foundation and a North Dakota homeless shelter, according to The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump and Congress are no closer to ending the stalemate over the funding he has demanded for his border wall. He has opposed legislation passed by the Democratic-held House to reopen the government temporarily, and the Senate’s Republican leadership has refused to consider any government funding legislation the president won’t sign.
However, Trump said that he would sign the legislation passed by Congress guaranteeing back pay to federal workers affected by the partial shutdown, which will set a record for the longest in American history early Saturday morning. The House passed the measure on Friday with overwhelming bipartisan support, 411 to 7, after it passed the Senate by unanimously by voice vote.
While several members of Congress have committed to refusing their pay until funding for nine essential government departments, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, is restored, the vast majority are continuing to draw their salaries.
Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., said he donated his entire paycheck during a past shutdown. But when asked by NBC News’ Hallie Jackson on Friday if he would do the same during the current shutdown, the congressman said it wouldn’t make a difference.
“Even if I do again what I did before, it’s not going to end the shutdown. The president can end the shutdown,” said Heck.
When asked if she would be taking a paycheck, Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., said on MSNBC on Tuesday, “I am, I’m working.”
Sen. John Thune’s office told NBC News on Friday that the majority whip would be accepting his paycheck, regardless of the ongoing shutdown. Other top Senate leadership — Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill. — did not respond to requests for comment.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said he will not be accepting pay during the partial government shutdown, while other House leaders — Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. — did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Senate leaders make $193,400 annually, compared to the average federal worker salary of $51,340 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the 800,000 workers who are affected by this partial shutdown, roughly half are furloughed, or forbidden from working, while the rest were working with no guarantee of pay.
Darryl Floyd, a furloughed worker for the International Trade Commission, told NBC News on Friday that he is battling dual concerns: missing paychecks while paying for his wife’s cancer treatment.
“We kind of worry about the bills getting paid, if she’s going to be able to buy medicine or whatever it may be, will we be able to eat. So, it’s kind of stressful,” said Floyd.
Over 60 House members — including half the Democrats on Judiciary — favor starting Trump impeachment inquiry
Here are the 66 members of the House of Representatives who favor starting an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. There are 65 Democrats — including 13 of the 24 Democrats who serve on the House Judiciary Committee — and one Republican.
- Alma Adams, N.C.
- Nanette Barragán, Calif.
- Don Beyer, Va.
- Earl Blumenauer, Ore.
- Suzanne Bonamici, Ore.
- Brendan Boyle, Penn.
- G.K. Butterfield, N.C.
- Joaquin Castro, Texas
- David Cicilline, R.I. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
- Yvette Clarke, N.Y.
- Steve Cohen, Tenn. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
- Danny K. Davis, Ill.
- Madeleine Dean, Penn. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
- Diana DeGette, Colo.
- Val Demings, Fla. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
- Mark DeSaulnier, Calif.
- Lloyd Doggett, Texas
- Veronica Escobar, Texas (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
- Adriano Espaillat, N.Y.
- Dwight Evans, Penn.
- Marcia Fudge, Ohio
- Jesús García, Ill.
- Mary Gay Scanlon, Penn. (Vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee)
- Al Green, Texas
- Raul Grijalva, Ariz. (Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee)
- Jared Huffman, Calif.
- Pramila Jayapal, Wash. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
- Robin Kelly, Ill.
- Barbara Lee, Calif.
- Andy Levin, Mich.
- Ted Lieu, Calif. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
- Alan Lowenthal, Calif.
- Tom Malinowski, N.J.
- Carolyn Maloney, N.Y.
- Betty McCollum, Minn.
- Jim McGovern, Mass. (Chairman of the House Rules Committee)
- Gwen Moore, Wis.
- Seth Moulton, Mass.
- Grace Napolitano, Calif.
- Joe Neguse, Colo. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, N.Y.
- Ilhan Omar, Minn.
- Bill Pascrell, N.J.
- Chellie Pingree, Me.
- Mark Pocan, Wis.
- Ayanna Pressley, Mass.
- Mike Quigley, Ill.
- Jamie Raskin, Md. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
- Kathleen Rice, N.Y.
- Cedric Richmond, La. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
- Bobby Rush, Ill.
- Tim Ryan, Ohio
- Brad Sherman, Calif.
- Jackie Speier, Calif.
- Greg Stanton, Arizona (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
- Bennie Thompson, Miss. (Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee)
- Rashida Tlaib, Mich.
- Paul Tonko, N.Y.
- Norma Torres, Calif.
- Juan Vargas, Calif.
- Filemon Vela, Texas
- Maxine Waters, Calif. (Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee)
- John Yarmuth, Ky. (Chairman of the House Budget Committee)
- Eric Swalwell, Calif. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee, member of House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, 2020 presidential candidate)
- Dan Kildee, Mich. (chief deputy whip of House Democratic caucus)
Justin Amash, Mich.
CORRECTION (May 30, 2019, 1:25 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misstated the position of Rep. Harley Rouda, D-Calif., on beginning an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. Rouda has said he supports an impeachment inquiry only if Trump does not comply with congressional subpoenas, not before.
Dartunorro Clark contributed.
Tory ballot vote: What time is second ballot on the Tory leadership today? Who will go?
VOTING commences once again today as Tory MPs undergo a second round at the polls to decide their next leader. What time is the second ballot for the Tory leadership race and who will be kicked off?
Supreme Court declines to change double jeopardy rule in a case with Manafort implications
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court declined on Monday to change the longstanding rule that says putting someone on trial more than once for the same crime does not violate the Constitution’s protection against double jeopardy — a case that drew attention because of its possible implications for President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
The 7-2 ruling was a defeat for an Alabama man, Terance Gamble, convicted of robbery in 2008 and pulled over seven years later for a traffic violation. When police found a handgun in his car, he was prosecuted under Alabama’s law barring felons from possessing firearms. The local U.S. attorney then charged Gamble with violating a similar federal law. Because of the added federal conviction, his prison sentence was extended by nearly three years.
The Fifth Amendment says no person shall be “twice put in jeopardy of life or limb” for the same offense. But for more than 160 years, the Supreme Court has ruled that being prosecuted once by a state and again in federal court, or the other way around, for the same crime doesn’t violate the protection against double jeopardy because the states and the federal government are “separate sovereigns.”
The case attracted more than the usual attention because of the prospect that Trump may pardon Manafort, who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for violating federal fraud laws. A presidential pardon could free him from federal prison, but it would not protect him from being prosecuted on similar state charges, which were filed by New York. Overturning the rule allowing separate prosecutions for the same offenses would have worked in Manafort’s favor.
Gamble’s lawyer, Louis Chaiten of Cleveland, said the nation’s founders understood the protection against double jeopardy to ban any second prosecution for the same offense. Under English common law, the roots of American law, there was no “separate sovereigns” exception. A person could not be put on trial in England if already tried for the same offense in another country.
Chaiten also argued that the states and the federal government are not truly independent anyway and are instead part of a complete national system. He quoted Alexander Hamilton, who described them as “kindred systems, part of one whole.”
And Chaiten said Congress has made the problem worse by dramatically expanding the number and scope of federal laws in recent years, creating more duplication with state laws — something never envisioned in earlier court decisions that allowed double prosecutions.
But the Trump administration said the longstanding double jeopardy rule allows states and the federal government to pursue distinct interests without interfering with each other. Changing the current understanding by barring subsequent prosecutions would allow foreign court actions to preclude U.S. trials for crimes against Americans, the government said.
Civil liberties groups also said the rule has allowed the federal government to pursue notorious civil rights violations that states were unwilling or unable to pursue.
Gamble’s argument appealed to some of the court’s liberals and conservatives. Two years ago, conservative Justice Clarence Thomas joined liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in saying that the court’s past double jeopardy rulings were due for a “fresh examination.”
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