Bonamici Marches with Federal Employees, Calls for Shutdown to End on House Floor
WASHINGTON, DC [1/10/19] – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) marched with federal employees and shared stories from Oregonians on the House floor to continue her call for an end to the partial government shutdown.
In her remarks on the House floor, Bonamici described how employees at the TSA, federal prisons, Coast Guard, and other federal agencies are being hurt as a direct result of the government shutdown. At the Rally to End the Government Shutdown, which was organized by more than 20 unions, Bonamici stood in solidarity with federal employees.
“A TSA agent who, along with his wife, had to sell plasma to make ends meet.
“A federal law enforcement employee who just received an eviction notice after trying to explain the shutdown to his apartment manager. In a few days, he and his family will be kicked out of their apartment if they do not receive a paycheck in time to pay their rent.
“A counselor at the federal prison who is already working under stressful conditions and not being paid. She and her co-workers wonder, how can they make their federal student loan payments when they aren’t getting paychecks.
“Members of the Coast Guard, who are working hard every day in dangerous conditions to keep our coastal communities safe, not knowing how they will pay their rent or other bills without their next paycheck.
“Air traffic controllers who work in a very complex field that requires concentration and dedication to keep the skies safe – and they are expected to do that without getting paid?
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today because these Oregonians, and hundreds of thousands of people across the country like them, are suffering as a result of President Trump’s government shutdown. For twenty days, the President has held the American people hostage over his campaign slogan to build a wall along the southern border. A wall that he promised Mexico would pay for.
“In those twenty days, I’ve seen firsthand how harmful this shutdown has been for Oregonians. I’ve spoken with individuals from Astoria, Sheridan, Portland, and beyond who are worried how they are going to pay for rent, how are they going to afford childcare, or continue to pay their student loans if their paycheck does not come through on Friday.
“Missing even one paycheck can have catastrophic consequences. It is far too high a cost for these dedicated federal employees to pay for a policy fight they did not start and have no power to end. This is unconscionable.
“Hardworking Oregonians should not lose their homes or be forced to sell plasma because the federal government is shut down, especially when they are continuing to report to work and protect our country without pay.
“Since taking the majority last week, the House has taken swift action to reopen the government. We have passed bipartisan bills to fund government operations and pay workers who have been furloughed.
“The American people have been held hostage long enough. It is past time for the President to abandon his ill-conceived border wall, and reopen the federal government before more people are hurt.”