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Feds could be paid by Wednesday, Dems working on funding bills says Escobar in first town Hall

With the longest government shutdown in US history now officially over, members of congress have headed back to their districts. El Paso’s federal representative, Veronica Escobar, held her first town hall and spoke to constituents about that same shutdown.

There will be monthly town halls and quarterly veteran town halls with Representative Escobar.

More than one hundred people filed into the El Paso Community Foundation room, hearing from Escobar as she explained her appointments to the House Armed Services and Judiciary committees.

Dozens of voters lined up to speak to the representative, most supporting her stance against a border wall.

One financial adviser, a constituent who asked Escobar to support the wall, said savings helped his Homeland Security clients weather the shutdown.
It’s something he says federal employees should get ready for.

“I advise my clients to do it and they have that built up. But I’m advising anybody else who works for the federal government, or really anybody. You should look to try and save at least ten percent of your disposable income,” said Anthony Gonzalez, who has several financial advising clients working in the federal government.

As to the shutdown, it seems most constituents would not want it repeated, and Escobar said they’re working with the three weeks they have.

“The Democrats are working on a funding plan, and our funding plan is based on what we’ve heard on the ground from people who have told us, CBP agents who have told us there’s not enough CBP personnel at our ports, that there’s outdated technology, from agents that we’ve heard from in rural areas who say our radios aren’t even working very well, they’re outdated,” Escobar said.

Escobar said federal employees could be paid as soon as Wednesday or as late as February 8, it will depend on how each department handles their payroll.

Uncertainty lies ahead.

Congress has only three weeks to approve further funding or the same agencies would again stop paying their employees.

President Trump has made it clear he will fight for his campaign promise. House Democrats will keep drafting their new funding bills.

“The dispute and the disagreement is over which tools work best. For Mr. Trump it’s a wall. For many others it’s what we’ve heard from the ground, from the very agents who are helping ensure that they are protected and that they are getting the job done on the line,” Escobar said.

Congress and the White House have until February 15 to come to a funding agreement.

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