“I welcome the President’s announcement. We need to immediately restore essential government functions—which I have repeatedly voted to do in recent weeks—while allowing more time to negotiate for funding to secure our border, which I voted for in December.
“In 2006, I and other members from both parties in Congress—including then-Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton—voted for the Secure Fence Act to authorize a physical barrier where applicable on our Southern border. The bill became law but was never adequately implemented, and by neglecting for years to build a border wall, we have placed a greater burden on the safety of our border security personnel and put undue stress on a primary function of government—keeping our citizens safe.
“The government employees providing essential services—who have either been furloughed or have been working without pay—must be compensated, including with back pay.”