WASHINGTON — "Our Constituents expect us to stay and finish the job."
So wrote Virginia First District Congressman Rob Wittman, in a letter today to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"I thought it was crucial to implore the Speaker to bring this body back together," he said, in an interview with 13News Now.
Despite his plea, Congress left town for the weekend after the latest round of negotiations to end the 21-day stalemate failed.
With no headway made over President Trump's insistence over $5 billion for a border wall, national media outlets report that Republican and Democratic leaders have now begun to take seriously the president's threat to declare a national emergency to bypass Congress altogether.
"Well I think he does have the statutory authority to declare a national emergency," said the Republican Wittman. "I think there'll be a lawsuit contesting whether he's doing that within the scope of the law. But I think this, bottom line, Congress needs to act."
Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine met today with some of the 170,000 impacted Virginia civil servants either furloughed or, working without pay.
In Richmond, state Delegate Stephen Heretick called on toll facilities along the Elizabeth River to suspend tolls for federal workers affected by the federal shutdown.
Meanwhile, Wittman, applauded the passage today of the "Government Employee Fair Treatment Act," guaranteeing the workers back pay.
The bill passed both chambers overwhelmingly, and the President is expected to sign it.