Senator Markey on Trump Shutdown and Oval Office Address: We’ve Gone from Mexico Paying for the Border Wall to American Workers Going Without Pay
Washington (January 8, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after tonight’s Oval Office address by President Donald Trump on funding for a wall at the southern border. In December, a temporary funding bill to keep the federal government open passed the Senate unanimously. That legislation did not include funding for a southern border wall.
Approximately 7,800 federal workers across Massachusetts have been furloughed or working without pay since December 22. The shutdown of the Environmental Protection Agency means almost all of the 516 employees in EPA Region 1, which includes New England, have been furloughed. The Trump Shutdown has also suspended the federal investigation into the deadly September 13 natural gas explosions and fires in Merrimack Valley.
“Shutting down the government over funding for a wall is like canceling the Superbowl because your favorite team didn’t make it,” said Senator Markey. “The truth is that there are more Americans today going without their paychecks because of the Trump Shutdown than immigrants who illegally crossed the southern border in the past two years.
“President Trump used his television address tonight to present a fear- and hate-ridden case about a manufactured national security emergency at the border. But the longer President Trump extends this government shutdown, the more unsafe and insecure Americans really become. We do not need a 2,000-mile wall at the southern border. We will never need it. But Massachusetts residents and workers do need clean drinking water, food assistance, and paychecks. All of those things are in jeopardy if the Trump Shutdown continues for weeks and months as President Trump has threatened. It is time for Republicans to join Democrats and pass bipartisan legislation to reopen the government. Let’s put people back to work and provide certainty for the American public. It is time for the President to end the Trump Shutdown.”