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Rep. Chu Votes to Reopen Federal Agencies and End Suffering from Trump Shutdown

January 14, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC — This week, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and House Democrats voted to pass stand-alone funding bills that would reopen the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency and end the suffering of federal employees who today did not receive paychecks. These federal agencies have been shutdown since December 22nd, 2018 because of President Trump’s unrelated demand to build a border wall, forcing 800,000 workers to go without pay, even though about half of them are still required to work. Rep. Chu released the following statement:

“This government shutdown is causing needless harm to families and our country. My chief concern is for the 800,000 workers and their families who today are being forced to make sacrifices like choosing to pay for rent or food because they have lost a paycheck through no fault of their own. One couple I talked to this week lost their home in the Thomas Fire and don’t know how they’ll be able to continue to rebuild without the pay they have earned.

“The shutdown is taking a national toll as well. That same couple who lost their home are both air traffic controllers who are nevertheless continuing to ensure the safety of our air travel. But with dramatic cuts to staff and low morale, air traffic is being slowed and the risk of error increasing. Other government functions, like food and environmental inspections, are also being halted, putting others at risk.

“None of the agencies we voted to open this week have anything to do with a border wall, and none of these workers should be forced to pay the price for a shutdown, especially since a wall will not even solve the problems Trump claims exist. Even if Trump believed a wall was necessary, there is no reason these workers should be used as hostages during the negotiations.

“Losing a paycheck creates fear and uncertainty. Some may lose their homes. Others will go hungry or forego things like medical treatments. The one thing we know is none of this is necessary. I urge the Senate to take up these bills to reopen these important agencies, let federal employees get back to work, and end this pointless shutdown.”