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Arizona Democratic Delegation Urges Senate to Pass Bipartisan Spending Bills, Reopen the Government, and Stand Up for Federal Workers

WASHINGTON—Today, Representatives Raúl M. Grijalva, Ruben Gallego, Tom O’Halleran, Ann Kirkpatrick, and Greg Stanton called on the U.S. Senate to pass the House of Representatives’ bipartisan funding bills and reopen the federal government before federal workers begin missing their paychecks. Due to the Trump Administration’s decision to prioritize the construction of a border wall over the needs of everyday Americans, approximately 7,300 federal employees in Arizona will go without a paycheck. In addition, 550,000 small businesses will not receive guaranteed loans and technical assistance from the Small Business Administration, national parks and public lands remain overflowing with garbage, and important health and food security programs on tribal lands will run out of funds.

“The Twitter tantrums of an unhinged President have thrown the economic security of thousands of Arizona’s families into complete disarray,” said Rep. Grijalva. “While Trump sits comfortably in the White House and refuses to negotiate in good faith, federal workers and their families are left with unpaid bills, mounting debts, and difficult financial decisions. It is time to end this hostage crisis over Trump’s vanity wall. The Senate must act as a coequal branch of government, pass the House spending bills that Senate Republicans previously supported,and reopen the government.”   

“Donald Trump’s refusal to end his irresponsible shutdown is causing thousands of Arizonans and people across the country to suffer while they are furloughed or work without pay,” said Rep. Gallego. “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Martha McSally and the rest of the Senate GOP need to do their jobs and open the government before families suffer long-term consequences.”

“This reckless government shutdown is going to devastate the livelihood of thousands of federal employees in Arizona who manage and maintain our national parks, monitor our prisons, protect our border, and much more. It will have long-lasting, serious consequences for every community in this country; there is no reason this shutdown should have ever happened,” said Rep. O’Halleran. “There is a bipartisan legislative plan that has already passed muster once in the Senate and has broad support in the House. Majority Leader McConnell must allow these measures to receive a vote so we can get our government open and pay our federal employees.”

“Thousands of our Arizona federal employees are waking up this morning and will feel a hit by not receiving their paychecks, our federal workforce is being used as a bargaining chip for the President. Saturday marks the longest government shutdown in American history and it is the responsibility of Senator McConnell and Senate Republicans to put our country before party,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “Arizona working families are suffering because of this shutdown and it is the President’s job to provide security in crisis not create crisis in the name of security.”

“This shutdown is completely unnecessary—it’s hurting families, damaging our economy, and threatening our security,” said Rep. Stanton. “We have an obligation to get our government working again for the people, and there is bipartisan support to do that today.”

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