Congressman Dan Kildee Votes for Bipartisan Bills to End Government Shutdown, Reopen Critical Agencies
House Passes Four Spending Bills with Republican and Democratic Support to End Government Shutdown
This week, Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip for the House Democratic Caucus, voted to immediately end the ongoing government shutdown and put people back to work.
The U.S. House of Representatives, with Republican and Democratic votes, passed budget bills to reopen four federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Interior. Despite the House acting to reopen these critical agencies, the Republican-led U.S. Senate and President Donald Trump have so far refused to support the legislation.
With the government shutdown entering its third week, 800,000 federal workers who were supposed to receive paychecks Friday did not receive any pay. An additional 400,000 federal workers are working without pay, including TSA agents, food safety inspectors and border patrol agents.
“The President should stop holding the health, safety and paychecks of the American people hostage, and re-open the government immediately. This ongoing government shutdown has already cost our economy billions of dollars, and today 800,000 workers missed their paychecks, leading to financial hardship and stress,” Congressman Kildee said. “Democrats support smart, effective border security solutions, including new technology to scan for drugs and detect unauthorized crossings, better infrastructure at ports of entry and more personnel. But we do not support wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on an ineffective and expensive border wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for,” said Congressman Kildee. “Democrats are passing bills to reopen government and secure our borders, it is time for the President to work with us and end this manufactured crisis.”
According to new analysis by S&P Global, the ongoing government shutdown has cost the economy $3.6 billion. For each additional week where the government remains shut down, experts say that it could cost the U.S. economy $1.2 billion of real gross domestic product (GDP).
The budget bills passed by the Democratically-led House and Congressman Kildee include:
- Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service: This legislation would prevent tax refunds for working families from being withheld during the shutdown. In Michigan, 3,816,778 tax filers’ refunds are in jeopardy.
- Department of Agriculture: This legislation would prevent families from losing critical food assistance, ensure that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can continue to inspect food and prevent public health epidemics, and safeguard a strong, robust family farmer safety net that provides certainty to people in rural communities. In Michigan, 1,571,344 individuals rely on food assistance, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- Department of Housing and Urban Development: This legislation would to rescue thousands of hardworking families who are at imminent risk of being evicted, as well as ensuring air travel and highway transportation are safe. Additionally, Congressman Kildee introduced legislation to help federal workers who cannot pay their rent or repay loans because of the shutdown.
- Department of the Interior: This legislation would prevent the degradation of our national parks and monuments and allow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to resume its critical activities in protecting public health and the environment. Michigan received $216.1 million in EPA grants in 2017.