Press Releases

Congressional Black Caucus Responds To Shutdown

f t # e
Washington, January 11, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON – This morning, CBC Chair Karen Bass (D-CA) was joined by caucus members Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), Co-Chair Steering and Policy Committee and Member of the House Committee on Appropriations and Representative Anthony Brown, Member of the House Armed Services Committee, in calling for an end to the shutdown so that workers can again begin to collect their paychecks and critical government services can resume. They discussed the impacts of the ongoing government shutdown as thousands of federal employees are unable to collect their paychecks and responded to President Trump’s statements on declaring a state of emergency if Congress refuses to fund a border wall.

Quotes from the call are below. Listen to a recording of the call here.

Rep. Karen Bass, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus

“This shutdown and the whole issue of the wall is a fake crisis. At the end of the day, even if he had all the money, it would still take eminent domain to build his wall. That process will take years. This is further evidence that this is a fake crisis and, in my opinion, just an attempt to change our attention away from the numerous impending investigations.

Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Chair of the Homeland Security Committee

“We’re closely coming up on the longest shutdown of government in our history. It is a challenge for us in Homeland Security. We have 80 percent of the workforce not being paid. That goes from TSA employees in airports, to the Coast Guard, to the Secret Service, to Custom Border Protection individuals, and all of those individuals who have sworn to keep us safe, are not being paid. That’s not fair and we are compromising our national security strategy by reducing the morale of the employees.”

Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), Co-Chair Steering and Policy Committee and Member of the House Committee on Appropriations

“We know that communities of color are disproportionately affected by this irresponsible Trump government shutdown. And today is especially painful for so many workers because it should be payday. But without these paychecks, many federal workers are hanging on by a thread. I know there are hundreds of thousands of families out there who are grappling with the anxiety, and really fear, of not being able to pay the bills as this shutdown drags on. Let’s be very clear: what’s happening here is President Trump is holding this government hostage and holding people hostage in order to get his useless, wasteful wall.”

Representative Anthony Brown, Member of the House Armed Services Committee

“The fourth congressional district in Maryland with over 50,000 federal employees is the fifth largest number of workers, and Maryland is probably the third-largest impacted state by this shutdown. So I’m hearing about this, like my colleagues, each and every day from my constituents. This shutdown is set to become the longest in the nation’s history.”

f t # e

Connect with the CBC

Stay connected with the CBC and get news directly to your inbox.

SUBSCRIBE FOR UPDATES