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Scott says Congress shouldn't get paid during government shutdown

Florida's newest senator donating his salary

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is calling on members of Congress to furlough their paychecks during the government shutdown.

Scott said Friday that the people of Florida "deserve a government that functions. Period."

"And until that happens, Congress shouldn't get paid," Florida's former governor said. "I believe members' pay must be furloughed immediately as long as Americans aren't getting government services."

That includes himself. 

Scott's communications director, Chris Hartline, told Local10.com that Scott is donating his salary for his entire freshman term.

Similarly, when Scott was governor, he only took $1 of his salary, Hartline said.

President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats have been at a stalemate over funding for his long-promised border wall.

As the partial shutdown stretched to 21 days Friday, tying it for the longest in U.S. history, government employees have been working without pay.

Miami International Airport is being forced to close a terminal early for three days because of a shortage of Transportation Security Administration screeners reporting for work.

Scott defeated longtime Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in November.

Hartline said it's too early to know how Scott will allocate his salary, but it will likely be decided on a month-to-month basis.

For now, he said, Scott is focused on fixing a broken Washington.

"I look forward to working with my colleagues to make this happen as soon as possible," Scott said. "I campaigned on making government work and it's clearer now more than ever that it will be an uphill climb. But I'm committed to fighting for the values of my state and the interests of the people of Florida and I won’t back down."