Six days into the partial government shutdown, negotiations are continuing behind closed doors, but that means little work is happening on the floors of the House and the Senate. Rank-and-file lawmakers are acutely aware that the 800,000 affected federal employees are counting on Congress to act, but there’s little they can do until leaders work out an agreement with the White House.
So, in the meantime, where are the nation’s 100 senators, and what are they doing? We asked every office and got some responses. We will update this list as more responses come in.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD):
“Senator Cardin is on personal travel with his family.”
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA): “He was on Fox and Friends from Baton Rouge this morning. He stands ready to fly to D.C. and reopen the government the moment Schumer and his Senate Democrats stop blocking a vote to fund the government and stronger border security.”
Note: Cassidy also sent a letter to FEMA administrator Brock Long, urging him to keep the agency selling new policies under the National Flood Insurance Program despite the government shutdown.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “She went to her 91-year-old mother’s house, in Caribou near the Canadian border, for the afternoon and evening of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. She returned to her home on Bangor yesterday. She has been meeting with constituents today and talking with colleagues on both sides of the aisle about potential solutions to this impasse.”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), retiring: “Senator Corker is working in Chattanooga today.”
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT): “Senator Daines is in Montana. As the senator has said all along, this is not complicated – Americans deserve a government that is open and funded, and a border that is secure. All sides need to come together and get this done.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), retiring: “Senator Hatch is in Washington with family in town for the holidays, communicating with his colleagues and ready to return should votes be scheduled. He’s also packing up his Virginia home as he and Elaine prepare to move back permanently to Utah.”
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI): “Senator Hirono is in Washington.”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI): “Sen. Johnson is spending time with his family.”
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI): Sen. Reed is at his Rhode Island office, according to his spokesman.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS): Sen. Roberts was in Washington, presiding over the four-minute Senate session Thursday.