Schumer Remarks At Press Conference With Speaker Pelosi On The End Of The Trump Shutdown

January 25, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi held a joint press conference after President Trump announced he would support a three week continuing resolution to reopen the government and provide relief to hundreds of thousands of federal workers suffering because of the Trump Shutdown, and then debate border security. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
 
Well, good afternoon. First I am proud that this is the first time this year that Leader Pelosi is appearing as Speaker Pelosi in this room. And the longest shutdown in American history will finally end today. The president has agreed to our request to open the government and then debate border security, which is great news for 800,000 federal workers and millions of Americans who depend on government services. As Democrats have said all along, the solution to this impasse was separate funding for the government and then go over our disagreements from border security. Separate the funding of government from the discussion on border security and that's what we got. And Democrats, in the Senate and in the House, were united behind this position throughout the shutdown, and ultimately this agreement endorses our position. It reopens the government without preconditions and gives Democrats and Republicans an opportunity to discuss border security without holding hundreds of thousands of American workers hostage. We expect the continuing resolution to clear the Senate and clear the House this afternoon and be signed by the president today.
 
And before I go on, I think from both of us, we want to thank all the federal workers from the bottom of my hearts. They have worked so selflessly this past month without pay, showing up to do a job they knew was important but for which they weren’t fairly compensated. The workers showed up despite the callous indifference of the administration who treated them as hostages, who treated them as pawns, who belittled their financial strain. Our dedicated public servants should never, never have to go through this again. We will do everything we can to make sure they won’t have to. And this past month has proven just how vital government services are to the American people: whether it’s our food safety, our airports, our national parks, our economy and national security and so much else.
 
The American people do not like it when you throw a wrench into the lives of government workers over an unrelated political dispute. Working people throughout the country emphasized with the federal workers and were aghast at what the president was doing to them. Hopefully now the president has learned his lesson. Now, once the president signs the continuing resolution, we in Congress will roll up our sleeves and try to find some agreement on border security. We don’t agree on some of the specifics of border security – Democrats are firmly against the wall – but we agree on many things, such as the need for drug inspection technology, humanitarian aid, strengthening security at our ports of entry, and that bodes well for finding an eventual agreement, the fact that we have so many areas where we can agree. 
 
But today, the president will sign the bill to reopen the government along the outlines of what we have proposed. And hopefully, it means a lesson learned for the White House and for many of our Republican colleagues. Shutting down the government over a policy difference is self-defeating. It accomplishes nothing but pain and suffering for the country and incurs an enormous political cost to the party shutting it down. We cannot – cannot – ever hold American workers hostage again. Speaker Pelosi.
 

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