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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

McMorris Rodgers: ‘No one benefits’ from shutdown, parties should deal on immigration and border security

Cathy McMorris Rodgers at Spokane City Hall, on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers reiterated her call Friday for Congress to broker a deal for border security and immigration reform, as the partial shutdown of the federal government concluded its fourth week with no end in sight.

“No one benefits from a shutdown, and this is a time for compromise,” McMorris Rodgers said. “When you have divided government, you have to come together, you have to come to the table and you have to strike a deal.”

That deal has proved elusive in the nation’s capitol, with Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi engaging in a public clash that has left remaining lawmakers with little hope of reaching a compromise soon. McMorris Rodgers, after releasing a statement saying the shutdown should be avoided “at all costs” before it commenced Dec. 21, has voted against spending bills brought forth by House Democrats to fund some or all of the departments shuttered by a lack of appropriations, noting they wouldn’t be taken up by the U.S. Senate or signed by Trump.

The congresswoman also said she supported an approach that would re-open the entire government, rather than piecemeal package that would ease tension in certain areas. Farmers in Eastern Washington have had to go without access to services as local Farm Service Agency offices since the shutdown began, though some offices reopened briefly this weekend to assist with year-end paperwork.

“We need to open up the entire government, and that’s where we need to come to the table and reach that compromise to do so,” she said.

There’s an opportunity to cut a deal that would include both border security funding and a legislative solution for the children of people who entered the country illegally, known collectively as the “Dreamers,” McMorris Rodgers told reporters Friday.

“I think most people recognize that that is the deal,” she said. “And that it is time for us to quit the games and come to the table and open up the government with a border security solution.”

McMorris Rodgers said she returned to Spokane this weekend to attend observances of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but would return to Congress on Tuesday morning to get back to work.

In a radio interview Friday morning, McMorris Rodgers told KXLY 920 AM that she’s requested her paycheck be withheld until this shutdown is over.