Government Shutdown

Holding our government accountable has never been more important. Its time to Reopen the Government and Pay Federal Workers.

Photo from Unsplash

Photo from Unsplash

Updated 1/17/2019

End the Government Shutdown
We are in the midst of the longest Government Shutdown with no end in sight. Here are several actions you can take to tell the GOP to END the SHUTDOWN! (Issues Below: Housing, National Security, and SNAP, Agriculture and loans to farmers, Food and Drug Safety)

Calls to Senate Sub-Committee re: Shutdown & Housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reports that, so far, 1,150 contracts with private landlords for Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) subsidies have expired so far amid the ongoing shutdown. If the shutdown drags on that number could rise into the millions. With landlords no longer receiving government assistance to subsidize rent from low-income recipients, the poor, including many elderly and disabled Americans, will be at risk of eviction. HUD has also had to suspend most of its routine enforcement activities, including mandatory health and safety inspections.

Who to call: Senate sub-Committee on Transportation, HUD
Chairwoman Senator Susan Collins (R-ME): (202) 224-2523
Ranking Member Jack Reed (RI): (202) 224-4642

Script: Hello. My name is ___ from [ZIP] and I’m calling Senator [Collins/Reed] in [her/his] capacity as [Chair/Ranking member] of the Senate sub-Committee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

I am very concerned that more than 1,000 private HUD contracts just expired due to the government shutdown, leaving some of our poorest neighbors vulnerable to eviction. I want the Senator to insist the Majority Leader hold a vote on legislation to reopen the government while continuing border security negotiations.

All sides agree that border security is important but the Republican leadership is holding the American people hostage, exposing citizens and the nation to grave harm, before even allowing negotiations to begin on what kind of border security our elected officials think is most prudent. That is no way to govern. Rewarding this kind of negotiating tactic would set a very dangerous precedent.

Thank these 3 GOP Senators for voting to re-open the Government

Call and thank these 3 senators.
Senator Cory Gardner, R-Colorado
(202) 224-5941, 354 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine (202) 224-2523, 413 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska (202) 224-6665, 522 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Script: Hi. My name is [ ] and I’m calling to thank Senator [ ] for her/his support for ending the gov’t shutdown before negotiating a deal on border security. Millions of Americans are being hurt by the shutdown, and there’s no reason to punish them while Congress and the President work towards a settlement that is acceptable to all parties. Thank you.

Government Shutdown and National Security

Nearly 5,000 special agents, intelligence analysts, attorneys, and professional staff are currently furloughed, resulting in reduced staffing for “critical functions that support field operations.” Many investigations are being impacted. The lack of funding for FBI could compromise national security. In addition, more than half of the staff of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a division of Homeland Security tasked with protecting the country’s critical infrastructure, have been furloughed. Nearly every employee of the Secret Service—which protects current and former government officials as well as the president—is going without pay.

ACTION: Call to Senate Committee: The Judiciary Committee (oversees the Justice Dept. and the agencies under its jurisdiction, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security).
Chairman Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC): (202) 224-5972
Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (CA): (202) 224-3841

Script: Hello. My name is ___ and I’m calling Senator [Graham/Feinstein] in [his/her] capacity as [Chair/Ranking member] of the Judiciary Committee.

I am very concerned about the impact the government shutdown is having on critical functions of our government that your committee oversees.The lack of funding for FBI and the reduced staffing for critical functions that support field operations will likely compromise national security. The same goes for the furloughing of more than half of the staff of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the members of the Secret Service.

I want the Senator to insist the Majority Leader hold a vote on legislation to reopen the government while continuing border security negotiations

All sides agree that border security is important but the Republican leadership is holding the American people hostage, exposing citizens and the nation to grave harm, before even allowing negotiations to begin on what kind of border security our elected officials think is most prudent. That is no way to govern. Rewarding this kind of negotiating tactic would set a very dangerous precedent.

Shutdown and SNAP, Critical Agriculture Information & Loans to Farmersa
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funding in chaos. Because of the shutdown, SNAP funding was scheduled to run out in February. The Trump administration has established a work around to get February SNAP payments out, but the payments are being made to the 39 million people weeks earlier than normal. This decision is creating confusion and concern among recipients and retailers. Recipients will be confused about the early benefits and some will receive the benefits up to month before they normally would have. Retailers are preparing for a potential onslaught of SNAP shoppers beginning next week, and making sure they have enough food stocked and employees on hand to handle the volume. In addition, the long-term concern about benefits that should be issued in March and beyond.

The much-anticipated “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report is delayed. This report helps market traders anticipate future crop prices and helps farmers plan for the coming year. The lack of this report will hurt farmers and have ripple effects on our food sourcing and pricing.

Federal loans to farmers have been put on hold, putting some farmers in a desperate situation, especially dairy farmers who have been hit hard financially in recent years. They depend on the credit to continue their operations.

ACTION: Call to Senate Committee chairs: Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
Chairman Pat Roberts (R - Kansas): 202-224-4774
Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D - Michigan): (202) 224-4822

Script: Hello. My name is ___ and I’m calling Senator [Roberts/Stabenow] in [his/her] capacity as [Chair/Ranking member] of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

I am very concerned about 3 big impacts the Republican government shutdown is having on areas that your committee oversees:

1) the SNAP program that provides critical food to the most vulnerable is in chaos and unless this shutdown ends, this will inevitably lead to persons going hungry;
2) the harm being done to farmers who depend upon the now delayed “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report to plan for the coming year; and
3) the fact that federal loans to farmers have been put on hold, putting some farmers in a desperate situation, especially dairy farmers who have been hit hard financially in recent years and who depend upon the credit to continue their operations.

I want the Senator to insist the Majority Leader hold a vote on legislation to reopen the government while continuing border security negotiations

All sides agree that border security is important but the Republican leadership is holding the American people hostage, exposing citizens and the nation to grave harm, before even allowing negotiations to begin on what kind of border security our elected officials think is most prudent. That is no way to govern. Rewarding this kind of negotiating tactic would set a very dangerous precedent.

Food and Drug Safety

Food inspection was halted by the shutdown for the most part, but some unpaid workers of the Food and Drug Administration were ordered back to work on Tuesday, January 15. These unpaid workers will be working in facilities that inspect higher risk foods, drugs, and devices. But other workers will continue to be furloughed and lower risk food, drugs, and devices will sit on the sidelines waiting for the shutdown to be over.

ACTION: Senate Committee: Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP)
Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN): (202) 224-4944
Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA): (202) 224-2621

Script: Hello. My name is ___ and I’m calling Senator [Lamar/Murray] in [his/her] capacity as [Chair/Ranking member] of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to ask the Senator to vote to fund the government and end the shutdown so that food and drug inspectors can continue to do their job and are not forced to work without pay. I want the Senator to insist the Majority Leader hold a vote on legislation to reopen the government while continuing border security negotiations.

All sides agree that border security is important but the Republican leadership is holding the American people hostage, exposing citizens and the nation to grave harm, before even allowing negotiations to begin on what kind of border security our elected officials think is most prudent. That is no way to govern. Rewarding this kind of negotiating tactic would set a very dangerous precedent.

Health Care for Native Americans in Jeopardy

60% of Indian Health Service (IHS) employees are working without pay, this includes staff providing direct care to patients. The agency delivers health care to about 2.2 million Native Americans and Alaska Natives. For many tribal members, IHS is the only option for health care.

Who to call: Senate Committee: Committee on Indian Affairs
Chairman Senator John Hoeven (R-ND): (202) 224-2551
Tom Udall (D-NM), Vice Chairman: (202) 224-6621

Script: Hello. My name is ___ and I’m calling Senator [Hoeven/Udall] in his capacity as [Chair/Ranking member] of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to ask the Senator to vote to fund the government and end the shutdown so that Indian Health Service agency staff members do not have to continue to work without pay. For many of the 2.2 million Native Americans who receive healthcare, IHS is their only viable option to receive care.

I want the Senator to insist the Majority Leader hold a vote on legislation to reopen the government while continuing border security negotiations

All sides agree that border security is important but the Republican leadership is holding the American people hostage, exposing citizens and the nation to grave harm, before even allowing negotiations to begin on what kind of border security our elected officials think is most prudent. That is no way to govern. Rewarding this kind of negotiating tactic would set a very dangerous precedent.