WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, entered the following statement into the Congressional Record on the Trump Shutdown.
I request unanimous consent to address the House for 5 minutes.
I rise to call for an end to the Trump shutdown. This Republican-imposed shutdown is threatening job creation, harming small businesses and leaving families with uncertainty and instability.
It is shameful that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are so desperate to secure taxpayer funding for a senseless border wall that they’re willing to harm hardworking Americans by shutting down the federal government.
This outrageous shutdown is forcing 420,000 federal employees to work without pay. These dedicated public servants have been doing their jobs and serving the public without pay since December 22nd. They include about 14,000 FBI agents, 6,000 Forest Service firefighters, and 54,000 Customs and Border Protection agents. Furthermore, thousands of airport security screeners and air traffic controllers are working without pay to protect the safety of the flying public at airports throughout the country, including LAX in my congressional district.
In addition, 400,000 federal employees have been furloughed without pay. This includes federal workers at the Departments of Transportation, State, Commerce, Interior and Agriculture. These dedicated public servants are sitting at home wondering how they will pay their mortgages and buy food for their families. Yet, they want nothing more than to go back to work serving the American people!
As the Chair of the House Committee on Financial Services, I am especially concerned about the impact of the Trump Shutdown on American homebuyers and renters. Millions of families that rely on Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) rental assistance programs are dangerously close to eviction and foreclosure due to lapses in funding. Families aspiring to become homeowners may see their Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or rural housing loans delayed or be unable to close on their loans altogether during the shutdown. In rural communities, very low-income, elderly homeowners who rely on HUD grants and loans to address health and safety hazards will not receive payments and may be forced to live in dangerous conditions.
In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the agency that investors and the public rely on to police Wall Street and maintain the safety of our capital markets system has furloughed roughly 94% of its staff, leading to a backlog of complaints that could delay enforcement actions. Companies looking to go public and enter the stock market for the first time may also have to delay their Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).
Meanwhile, our National Parks are overflowing with uncollected trash, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stopped conducting inspections of drinking water systems, hazardous waste facilities, and chemical facilities.
If the Trump shutdown continues beyond January, about 40 percent of 40 million individuals and families across the country who are dependent upon the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as Food Stamps, will see their benefits reduced.
These are just a few examples of the harm being caused by the third shutdown this nation has experienced since Trump took office. It is time for Republicans to stop jeopardizing livelihoods, the financial system, and our economy by ending this shutdown immediately.
It’s long past time to end this Trump shutdown, and put America’s public servants back to work serving the public!
I yield back the balance of my time.