After sailing through the House on a 407-0 vote Saturday, a bill to guarantee back pay to furloughed federal employees now appears to have become a Senate bargaining chip in the stalemate over ending the partial government shutdown.
“I think it’s really premature to be dealing with that until we deal with the underlying problem,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said today, according to the website for Roll Call. “”We’ve offered a number of bills to try to alleviate some of the hardship, and . . . they’ve all been swatted down out of hand.”
Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., did not respond to an email asking whether Reid planned to bring the back pay legislation before the full Senate this week.