Local representatives say congress will pass law to give federal workers back pay

by: Essex Porter Updated:

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SEATTLE - It's day four of the federal government shutdown and KIRO-7 is getting answers directly from the only people who can end it, members of Congress.

Local representatives said that on Saturday, Congress will likely pass a law to give federal workers back pay once the shutdown is over.

The shutdown drew protestors to the Issaquah office of 8th District Republican Congressman Dave Reichert, who told KIRO-7 earlier that he doesn't want to shut down the government, just delay Obamacare. 


"If they don't like the bill, we can work on making it better but they don't get to hold the government hostage," said protest organizer Robyn Scola.

On the other side, Democrats are still rejecting Republican demands for negotiations to end the shutdown.

When asked if there is any concession that Democrats can make to Republicans to get the government open, 2nd District Rep. Rick Larsen said, "More than the concessions that Democrats have already made to Republicans?"

Larsen said Democrats have already agreed to the smaller budget number that Republicans are asking for.

"What we should not be willing to agree to is defund or repeal the Affordable Care Act, when people all over this country including Washington State are signing up for health care for the first time in their lives," he said.

There is another way, says 1st District Democrat Suzan DelBene, "If we had a vote on a continuing (budget) resolution, a clean one as we call it, to open the government, it would pass with bi-partisan support."

So far, Republican leaders say no to that. 

Sixth District Rep. Derek Kilmer represents the Bremerton Naval Shipyard, where he says 3,500 federal workers have been furloughed. 

"I think it's important to not hold the American citizens or the American economy hostage," Kilmer said. "This is why Congress is held in lower regard than head lice right now."