A member of President Trump’s administration had a few things to say about House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) decision to host a dinner for House Democrats following the government shutdown.
POLITICO’s Jake Sherman tweeted about the dinner, which was being held at Acqua Al 2 in Washington, D.C.
Pelosi attracted criticism from several sources, including White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“Nice message to send to the brave men [and] women of our military and border patrol forced to work without pay during the [government shutdown],'” she quipped on Twitter.
American soldiers have been thrown into the middle of national debate amid the government shutdown. As the Boston Globe explains, active-duty personnel will continue working during the shutdown, but will only be paid through Feb. 1. Should the government remain shut down after that time, work will continue as scheduled, but without pay going forward. Active-duty personnel would only see their wages again once the shutdown ended or if President Trump decided to cover their pay.
Though Trump has repeatedly accused Democrats of not caring about service members, he is the one who can decide whether or not they see their salary. As the Globe explained, President Obama signed legislation to continue paying those in uniform during the 2013 government shutdown. Similarly, Trump holds the power to exempt certain government services from Congress’s recent actions.
‘‘Not only can the president decide who or what is an essential activity, the president can change his or her mind anytime,’’ clarified Stan Collender, who, according to the Globe, is a federal budget expert with Qorvis MSLGroup. ‘‘In the past, every president has exempted the military, for obvious reasons.’’
Until action is taken one way or another, several congressmen have expressed that they will forfeit their wages while the wages of active-duty personnel hang in the balance. Others have decided to donate to charity.