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Altoona Mirror: GOP calls for border wall as payday dries up

GOP calls for border wall as payday dries up

The weekend marked two dubious landmarks in the ongoing partial shutdown of the federal government: The shutdown became the longest in U.S. history, and thousands of federal workers across Pennsylvania received their first $0 paychecks.

The shutdown shows no signs of stopping, with President Donald Trump refusing to abandon his calls for a border wall and congressional Democrats refusing to entertain the notion. Many in Congress have pushed for a funding package that would pay for some government agencies to resume operations while negotiations continue, but others — including newly sworn-in Rep. John Joyce, R-13th District — are demanding the Democrats agree to wall money.

“These hard-working men and women do not deserve this shutdown. No American does,” Joyce said last week in his first House floor speech, citing federal prison employees based at FCI Loretto. “It’s time to fund the wall and send the president an appropriations package he will sign.”

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Republican lawmakers have expressed sympathy with the furloughed and unpaid workers; Joyce has said he will refuse a congressional paycheck until the shutdown ends.

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