Rep. Rob Wittman Stands Behind Vote Not to Reopen Fed. Government

| January 4, 2019 | 0 Comments | News

Rep. Rob Wittman, Va. 1st District

There was some confusion as to whether Republican Congressman Rob Wittman (Va-1st District) voted against the funding bill that would reopen the partially closed government or abstained.

The bill did not include funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, which has been a key issue for Republicans and President Trump. Trump threatened to veto any bill that did not include billions for the wall.

Wittman has always been strong on border control, but a large portion of his constituency also works for the federal government. Currently, they are being hard hit by the shut down of certain agencies. Some federal employees are furloughed and others are working without pay.

In a Facebook post, Wittman “set the record straight,” announcing he proudly voted against the spending bill.

Let me set the record straight. I was on the House floor last night at 9:55pm voting against a resolution that would not secure our borders. You can see my recorded vote on the Democrat’s partisan show vote to reopen the government without providing funds for border security here:

In addition, the Speaker knows this bill had no chance to be signed by the president, and therefore would fail to actually reopen the government.

It’s a fundamental responsibility of our government to keep our nation safe. A strong border is critical to our national security and the safety of Americans, and I stand ready to work with all who are willing to advance our nation’s security forward. While this shutdown stems back to a broken budget process I’ve been advocating to reform, Rep. Don Beyer and I have again introduced bipartisan legislation to make sure federal employees aren’t caught in the cross-fire of Congressional inaction.

Wittman’s district includes portions of Bristow and Nokesville as well as Stafford County.

The miscommunication possibly stemmed from a statement his former political opponent Vangie Williams released. In it, she condemned Wittman for allegedly abstaining from the vote.

Friday afternoon, President Trump told Congressional leadership he would be willing to extend the partial shutdown months, even years, if necessary.

Wittman has been in favor of plans that would not punish federal employees when spending bills stall in Congress. He also said he advocates for back pay for employees who have been off during the shutdown.

Thursday, he requested that until the government is fully reopened, his paycheck be withheld according to a statement he released Thursday.

Today, Republican House Members proposed a resolution that would have kept the House in session until the full government was funded and open again. Unfortunately the Democrats voted against it. Congress’ inability to fund the government, fulfilling one of our most basic duties outlined in the Constitution, is unacceptable. We must do our job, and when we don’t, we should feel the consequences just like any other American would. Until this government shutdown is over, I am having my paycheck withheld—to then make a donation to charity once Congress reaches an agreement to fund our government.

However, before the released a statement that criticized new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the spending bill she brought to the floor and her role in the shut-down.

I am disappointed in Speaker Pelosi for bringing an omnibus spending package that throws out the bipartisan appropriations work of the House for FY2019 and bringing to the floor a package of exclusively Senate bills. The House worked hard this past year working these bills through regular order only to be tossed out at the last minute. Instead, we are voting on bills that have had no input from House Members and did not go through regular order. This is no way to govern. In addition, the Speaker knows this bill has no chance to be signed by the president, and therefore would fail to reopen the government. This vote was a partisan attempt to circumvent calls for border security. Congress needs to pass measures that enhance border security, which includes physical barriers such as fences or a wall.

On his own page, Wittman received praise for holding strong for border security. However, he faced stronger criticism elsewhere among those who say he is not supportive of his own constituents and is instead playing partisan politics.

The shutdown is now in its second week.

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