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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

On the House Floor, Slaughter Tells Republicans to Do Their Job & Open the Government

January 20, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Hours into the fifth Republican government shutdown in under 30 years and the first one in modern history when one party holds the House, Senate and White House, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) took to the House Floor and told the Majority to do their job and open the government. 

“Today is the one-year anniversary of complete Republican control of Washington. The Majority runs the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. And what does our country have to show for it? First, a tax bill for corporations and the wealthy. Now, the great government of the United States is closed for business,” said Slaughter.

“The Majority in both chambers should try something new for a change: bipartisanship. I am here today ready to craft a compromise that addresses the needs facing the American people. So are my Democratic colleagues. To the Majority, I say this: work with us and let’s end this shutdown,” continued Slaughter.

Slaughter’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are included below:

Today is the one-year anniversary of complete Republican control of Washington. The Majority runs the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. And what does our country have to show for it?

First, a tax bill for corporations and the wealthy. Now, the great government of the United States is closed for business.

The impacts will be severe. Just look what happened during the last Republican shutdown in 2013, which cost our economy an estimated $24 billion:

-    Progress on reducing the massive backlog of veterans’ disability claims was stopped

-    Two-thirds of the Centers for Disease Control and three-fourths of the National Institutes of Health were furloughed

-    Flu season surveillance and monitoring was severely limited

-    Life-saving FDA food safety inspections were delayed

-    1.2 million private-sector loans to individuals and small businesses were disrupted

-    Billions in tax refunds were delayed

-    Head Start centers serving 6,300 children were closed

-    120,000 private-sector jobs were destroyed

Why is our government shut down today? Because the Majority was so obsessed with handing out tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations that they ignored their responsibility to the American people. They failed to renew Community Health Centers.

They failed to permanently renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which the CBO has found would save the government $6 billion over ten years.

That’s despite the fact that the Majority made their tax cuts for corporations permanent.

That was a tax bill, by the way, that the Majority sold as a middle class tax cut. But we know today it is anything but. It’s a tax cut for big corporations and the super wealthy. And it seems designed to target blue states.

Action on these items shouldn’t be some extraordinary exercise. Republicans and Democrats agree that we need to address them! But the Majority has been missing in action.

All the while, we’ve been forced to limp along, funding our government in month-long tranches. That’s no way to run a business and it’s certainly no way to run the government.

President Trump tweeted last May, “our country needs a good shutdown.”

In 2011, years before he assumed office, President Trump said during an interview as another Republican shutdown loomed, “If there is a shutdown I think it would be a tremendously negative mark on the president of the United States. He’s the one that has to get people together.”  

The president needs to stop treating this like a reality show and the Majority should stop treating governing like a game where the truth is discarded.

The Majority’s short-term CR failed last night in the Senate because it didn’t get the job done. It was written behind closed doors without our input.

Democrats weren’t alone in making clear that this continuing resolution was unacceptable.

Members of the Majority’s own conference voted against it on both sides of the Capitol.

If I were in the Majority’s shoes with 51 seats in the Senate and I had to get to 60 votes, I’d invite Democrats in on it.

The problem is that this president apparently thinks one thing at 10am and another one at noon. That makes reaching an agreement extraordinarily difficult.

Even the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, said this week, “I'm looking for something that President Trump supports. And he's not yet indicated what measure he's willing to sign.”

So the Majority in both chambers should try something new for a change: bipartisanship.

I am here today ready to craft a compromise that addresses the needs facing the American people. So are my Democratic colleagues.

To the Majority, I say this: work with us and let’s end this shutdown. 

 

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