Schumer Floor Remarks On The Impact Of The Trump Shutdown And The Responsibility Of Leader McConnell To Help Re-Open The Government

January 17, 2019

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the impact of the Trump shutdown on  hundreds of thousands of Transportation Security Administration workers and the need for Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans to work with Democrats to re-open the government. Below are his remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Mr. President. First I want to just echo the comments of my colleague, our great ranking member of the HELP Committee, Senator Murray. And now look, folks, the Trump shutdown drags into its 27th day, the pain inflicted on our country, our citizens and our economy grows. The White House Council of Economic Advisers said the shutdown would hurt our economy twice as much as they originally projected. Some experts are predicting it could wipe out the entire first quarter of economic growth.

Airports, an understaffed TSA means longer and longer lines. Yesterday, the Executive Vice President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association said that flying “is less safe today than a month ago. Absolutely.” Hundreds of public servants are suffering. I can give a list of a longer number.

Mr. President – President Trump – this shut down, your shut down, has gone on too long! Why is President Trump punishing folks like so many of my constituents who have nothing to do with disagreements about border security?

If you sense exasperation in my tone, you’re right. We Democrats are exasperated. All we want to do is re-open the government. We are happy to debate border security with the president and our Republican colleagues. Happy to. But let’s re-open the government. 

And my friends, my Republican friends here, both the president and Leader McConnell, are ignoring the overwhelming will of the American people.

So, we urge our colleagues to think about this. We know that President Trump is not interested in ending the shutdown. Leader McConnell knows he has the power to end the shutdown. The only reason we’re in this prolonged stalemate is that my friend, the Republican Leader, refuses to take up any legislation to reopen the government. We should do it now.