POLITICS

Government shutdown 2013: Back pay bill held up by GOP senator

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A bill the House passed to guarantee that furloughed federal workers receive back pay after the partial government shutdown is resolved seems to have hit a snag in the Senate.

The second-ranking Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, says "it's premature to do it right now."

The measure passed the House unanimously on Saturday and has the backing of the White House, so eventual passage through the Senate seems assured.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, however, isn't inclined to devote a lot of the Senate's time to the bill. He may seek to pass the measure by voice vote, a step that could be blocked by any senator.

Reid has blocked several House measures to reopen certain programs like health research, disaster relief efforts and food aid for low-income pregnant women.

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