Sen. Murray: “With each passing day, it’s clear just how much the Trump Shutdown is hurting families in every community in every state in this country. And no prime-time address or fear-mongering trip to the border is going to change that reality”
Sen. Murray cites stories from air traffic controllers in WA, who remain on the job but feel the stress of not knowing when they’ll receive their next paycheck
(Washington, D.C.) –U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) today spoke on the Senate floor to urge her Republican colleagues to work with Democrats to pass legislation that would end the Trump Shutdown and fully reopen the federal government. Right now, paychecks for hundreds of thousands of U.S. federal workers are frozen, while millions more Americans are increasingly affected by the federal agencies that can no longer carry out basic government functions. Senate Republican leaders have yet to bring up House-passed legislation for a vote, which, if passed, would send a bill to President Trump’s desk to reopen the government and end the unnecessary shutdown.
In her speech, Sen. Murray said, “…I urge my Republican colleagues, make it your priority to work to with us to fund our government and end this completely unnecessary crisis. This started out as a Trump Shutdown, but with every day that passes that the Republican Senate won’t act, Republican leaders take more and more ownership, along with every Republican Senator who supports them.”
Full remarks as prepared for delivery:
“I come to the floor today on what is now Day 19 of the Trump Shutdown – an epic presidential temper tantrum that forces the rest of us to once again, plead with the president to stop hurting the American families he promised to represent. This time, it’s because President Trump marched our country right into a government shutdown, paralyzing federal agencies and preventing them from carrying out the most basic government functions.
“And what does this president have to show for it? Eight hundred thousand hard-working Americans, some off the job and some still asked to come in, their bills mounting, and no money coming in. That includes air traffic controllers in my home state of Washington, who wrote me letters. They don’t question whether they will keep showing up to do the job they love, a job that keeps the public safe. But they have no idea when they’ll get their next paycheck. And that means stress—stress about providing for their families, stress about being able to pay their mortgages, pay for preschool, pay down post-Christmas bills. They are forced to bear the brunt of the Trump Shutdown.
“And it’s not just federal workers. Thousands of senior citizens and individuals with disabilities, facing possible eviction as HUD scrambles to figure out how to make housing payments. Our national parks, the crown jewels of our country, no longer adequately maintained for public use, while the small businesses right outside the parks that rely on visitors, like those outside Mount Rainier National Park, are feeling the pain and cutting back on staffing. Millions of low-income families are unsure if they’ll receive the help they need to put food on the table for their children. I could go on and on but I don’t need to.
“With each passing day, it’s clear just how much the Trump Shutdown is hurting families in every community in every state in this country. And no prime-time address or fear-mongering trip to the border is going to change that reality. So, to President Trump, enough with the tweets, enough with the fact-twisting. It’s time to stop playing politics and finally agree to end the shutdown you began. Stop trying to bully your way out of your mess.
“And to my Senate colleagues, in case it’s not crystal clear, ending this nightmare is not complicated. Three weeks ago, in this very spot, we passed a bill that kept the federal government open, without funding for Trump’s wasteful wall, the one he promised Mexico would pay for. That bill was very simple—it was all about keeping our government open and avoiding a completely unnecessary crisis. Democrats supported this bill, Republicans supported it—in fact, it was unanimous. Because we know that the people we represent have no interest in elected officials playing games with their lives and livelihoods. And now the Democratic House has followed suit and passed a bill that would do the same.
“Yet that simple solution –keeping our government funded, on schedule, without interruption– has been stopped in its tracks by President Trump, who apparently sees no problem with keeping the government shut down for months, even years, he said, to fulfill his shallow campaign promise that everyone knows will do nothing to truly address our broken immigration system and keep our country safe. So what we have here is a crisis of the president’s own making, from top to bottom.
“And I for one find it simply outrageous that instead of searching for real solutions, or working with Congress in good faith, the president is dug in, demanding American taxpayers bail him out to save face. Members of this Congress were elected to make decisions that help the American people. We were not sent here to provide cover to the president.
“So I urge my Republican colleagues, make it your priority to work to with us to fund our government and end this completely unnecessary crisis. This started out as a Trump Shutdown, but with every day that passes that the Republican Senate won’t act, Republican leaders take more and more ownership, along with every Republican Senator who supports them.
“Some Republicans here in the Senate are already standing up and saying they want to work with us to stand up to President Trump and end this shutdown, and they would like the opportunity to vote to do so. But not enough yet—and the clock is ticking.
“So I say this to Republican leaders: Work with us to restore certainty to the American people – from the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are being forced to forgo their paycheck, to the small business owners, farmers, seniors and low-income families, to the air traffic controllers—all those people whose lives have been unnecessarily thrown into chaos and who deserve a fully functioning government. The President of the United States may be throwing a tantrum and playing political games—but the people we represent, and our country as a whole, deserve a whole lot better.
“Thank you. I yield the floor.”