The House Freedom Caucus chairman had no words of empathy or encouragement this week for federal employees working without pay, thanks to a partial government shutdown sparked by President Donald Trump's demand for full border wall funding.
Instead, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) told them it’s simply part of the deal when you sign up for public service — though Meadows and his colleagues on Capitol Hill will surely receive their pay on time.
Meadows, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus and a leading conservative voice urging President Trump not to accept a short-term spending bill absent funding for a border wall, was responding to reporters who asked about Transportation Security Administration and Border Patrol agents who would be required to continue working on Christmas without getting a paycheck.
“It’s actually part of what you do when you sign up for any public service position," Meadows said. "And it’s not lost on me in terms of, you know, the potential hardship. At the same time, they know they would be required to work and even in preparation for a potential shutdown those groups within the agencies have been instructed to show up.”
Democratic Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania castigated Meadows via Twitter, writing, “Not only will u make less, boys & girls, but your paychecks will always be subject to kamikaze political stunts in order to avoid attacks from Rush & Hannity. Awesome.”
Meadows, whose name had been floated for Trump’s chief of staff, was at the White House on Thursday afternoon to convince the president that conceding on the wall would be terrible for his relationship with his base.