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Rep. Chu: GOP Must Abandon Divisive Agenda, Keep Government Open

April 8, 2011
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Rep. Chu (CA-32) today called for the Republican leadership to abandon its pursuit of a divisive social and political agenda, come to the table, and work with Democrats to prevent a shutdown.

“The American people want us to act to create jobs and strengthen our middle class, not shut down the government, deny public services taxpayers have paid for, and jeopardize our economic recovery,” said Chu.  “A shutdown is not in the best interests of our country, our families, and our economy. Instead of pushing an ideological social agenda and cheering a shutdown, Republicans should join Democrats in our efforts to keep the government running.”

Republican negotiators continue to hold up the budget talks by insisting on divisive issues that restrict women’s health services and should not be in spending bills. Democrats have demonstrated a clear willingness to do what it takes to avoid a shutdown – meeting House Republicans more than halfway on spending cuts, but GOP leaders have refused to sign onto an agreement.

Shutting down the government has real consequences for America’s workers, businesses, and communities.  800,000 federal public servants will be left without a paycheck to support their families, and millions of people would be left without access to critical services.

Some critical services delayed, interrupted, or shut down if the government shuts down include:
•    Loss of access to health and financial services to veterans
•    Unprocessed Social Security applications
•    Upheld military pay
•    Pause in health services, including disease surveillance, disease hotlines, and cleanup work at toxic waste sites
•    Unprocessed Passport applications

If House Republicans do shutdown the government, Chu has made it clear that she does not believe members of Congress should receive pay. On three separate occasions she has voted to prohibit members from receiving pay. Republicans have blocked all three of these votes.

“It is unconscionable to think that if our government shuts down, members of the military will go without pay, while Members of Congress continue to collect a salary,” said Chu.