Washington, D.C.– Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today released the following statement on the end of the government shutdown.
“Last night I voted with the majority of my colleagues to pay our bills, open our government and avoid a first-ever national default. My highest priority is protecting the people of Southern Arizona, and this deal was the best way to stop the economic damage they’ve suffered. Closing Saguaro National Park, the Grand Canyon and the rest of our economic magnets and expecting small businesses to suck it up is not a serious way to govern, and it had to end.
“There were principles at stake during this shutdown that shouldn’t be forgotten now that it’s over. Federal government workers provide vital services to the country, and they should never again be used as a bargaining chip. Neither should the livelihoods of the many business owners who depend on public lands, federal services or other factors that were impacted during the shutdown. This will have ripple effects for a long time to come. Not everybody’s life gets to go back to normal today.
“Unfortunately, last night’s deal funds the government at too low a level to sustain an economic recovery. Since 2010, Congress has enacted $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction measures, largely at the expense of working people and retirees. Extending these cuts much further could cost the economy as many as 1.6 million jobs in 2014 and will set back education, infrastructure and other national priorities for years. We have to change course, and quickly.
“The House Republican majority has made it clear that it’s not finished making unpopular demands. I expect to hear shortly that we have to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaidbenefits or risk immediate collapse. We can’t keep dancing this same dance. Let’s get serious about creating jobs and doing what works. We’ve tried things the Republican way. We just saw what that looks like.
“Democrats have already made huge budget concessions. Locking in sequester-level budgeting any longer will cost us too much revenue and not create nearly enough jobs. It will do nothing to make our tax code more fair. As the next round of negotiations moves forward, I’ll continue to stand for what’s best for my constituents and to stand with the American people who oppose government through blackmail.”