Following retirement announcement, Senator Roberts jumps into shutdown battle

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- As the partial government shutdown continues, Kansas lawmakers say they are trying to help find a solution. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) says he does not plan to back off his workload despite announcing he will leave Capitol Hill following 2020. The senior senator says he will not be a “lame duck” lawmaker.

“No ducks. No lame. We’re going to be ever ready,” said Senator Roberts.

He says finding a solution to the partial government shutdown is his immediate priority as federal workers across the country are going without pay.

One of Roberts’ main concerns is lack of funding for USDA programs. Some have stopped as a result of the shutdown, including the arm of the agency that handles applications for Market Facilitation Program payments. Those are the payments the government promised farmers hurting because of trade battles.

Roberts recently ushered through his eighth Farm Bill, but for USDA to assist in its implementation, the government needs to reopen.

“If we can get past the politics, we can get a deal. We’re not going to consider legislation that the president won’t sign,” said Roberts.

The president is sticking by demands for money that would go toward a physical structure, and Democrats have their heels dug in on refusing those demands. If the shutdown lasts through Saturday, it will be the longest in history.

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