Associated PressJan 21, 2018, 10:47 amJan 22, 2018, 6:28 pm

Pence to troops: 'You deserve better' than shutdown

Law enforcement officers, other government employees work without pay until the federal government reopens

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is blasting Congress for playing politics with military pay by failing to keep the government open.

Pence told U.S. soldiers stationed near the Syrian border on Sunday: "You deserve better." He says the soldiers and their families "shouldn't have to worry about getting paid."

Pence spoke to troops in the Middle East as Democrats and Republicans in Congress show few signs of progress on negotiations to end the government shutdown.

The vice president says President Donald Trump's administration will will not reopen negotiations "on illegal immigration" until Congress reopens the government and until soldiers and their families receive "the benefits and wages you've earned."

Uniformed service members and law enforcement officers are among the essential government employees who will be working without pay until the federal government reopens.

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