Democrats’ Hypocrisy Over A Government Shutdown

- January 18, 2018

In The Past, Democrats Repeatedly Stressed How Harmful A Government Shutdown Would Be To The American People


  • With a potential government shutdown looming, Democrats have indicated they are willing to shutdown the government by voting against funding the government.
  • In the past, Congressional Democrats have repeatedly warned of the harmful consequences of a government shutdown and the impropriety of threatening a shutdown to extract policy concessions.
    • Nancy Pelosi said a government shutdown would "punish the American people by denying them vital services."
    • Chuck Schumer criticized government shutdowns saying, "I believe in immigration reform. What if I persuaded my caucus to say, I'm going to shut the government down, I am going to not pay our bills unless I get my way? It's a politics of idiocy, of confrontation, of paralysis."
    • Steny Hoyer described government shutdowns as "costly" and as "holding government hostage" from working on behalf of the American people.
    • Elizabeth Warren called threatening a shutdown a "last resort for those who can't otherwise win their fights through elections, can't win their fights in Congress, can't win their fights for the presidency, and can't win their fights in courts."
    • Dick Durbin voiced concerns that a government shutdown would devastate 46.5 million SNAP recipients, including two million people in Illinois.
    • Bernie Sanders compared a shutdown to "holding the American people hostage."
    • Cory Booker derided those that play "shutdown politics."
    • Claire McCaskill called a government shutdown "completely unacceptable" and said a government shutdown would lead to delayed benefits for veterans, furloughs for 39,000 federal employees in Missouri, and delays in vital loans for small businesses and social security checks for seniors.
    • Joe Manchin stated a shutdown hurts the American people and the economy, and added that "there's no need to have a shutdown of the government."
    • Tammy Baldwin said threatening a government shutdown is "immensely disrespectful" to public servants and that "federal workers, veterans, and their families should not have to pay a price for partisan political games."
    • Bill Nelson stated "every member of congress has a responsibility to put aside partisan political differences in favor of finding common-sense solutions" to avoid a government shutdown.
    • Joe Donnelly called a government shutdown "embarrassing" and playing games with the economy.
    • Sherrod Brown stated that "another shutdown would hurt all Americans, but would be particularly hard on those that need the help the most: children, older Americans, and those with disabilities."
    • Jon Tester said about government shutdowns, "you don't, as a minority, take your one issue and stop everything by shutting down the government."
    • Bob Casey previously said a government shutdown risks "our nation's economy with a game of reckless brinksmanship" that would have "serious consequences for markets, jobs, seniors and middle class Pennsylvanians."
  • A government shutdown would adversely impact the military, veterans, children, the disabled, elderly, cancer patients, small businesses, and the economy.


House Minority Leader Pelosi Has Said Shutting Down The Government Would Be "To The Detriment Of Our People, To Our Security, And To Our Country's Future"

In 2011, House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Introduced A Stopgap Spending Bill Because She Said A Government Shutdown Would "Punish The American People By Denying Them Vital Services." " Pelosi argues that there isn't time to work out a longer-term deal before a possible government shutdown. 'This legislation will allow Congress to complete work on [fiscal year] 2011 appropriations without punishing the American people by denying them vital services,' she said. 'This bill would continue the freeze in government spending contained in the current [continuing resolution]. In order to give Congress time to finish the legislation and avoid the calamitous effect of a government shutdown on the American people, I am hopeful Republican leaders will agree to a short-term extension of the freeze as we work to pass a bill the president can sign into law for the remainder of 2011.'" (Jonathan Allen, "Pelosi Offers Spending Freeze Option," Politico , 2/18/11)

  • Pelosi Said Shutting Down The Government Would Be "To The Detriment Of Our People, To Our Security And To Our Country's Future." " Yesterday Pelosi told reporters that if there is a government shutdown, responsibility will fall on Republicans' shoulders. 'It is a failure. It's really a failure to say we have taken the leadership of the Congress of the United States and the first thing we're going to do is shut down the government to the detriment of our people, to our security and to our country's future," she told reporters.'" (Jonathon Allen, "Pelosi Aide: Shutdown Likely," Politico , 2/18/11)

In 2013, Pelosi Said She Hoped Members Of Congress Learned "However Enthusiastic We Are About Our Issues And Our Point Of View, That We Don't Hold The Government Hostage And The Full Faith And Credit Of The United States Hostage." MSNBC'S ANDREA MITCHELL: "And with this episode closed, presumably, what have we learned about leading through crisis, about shutting down the government, threats, and extraneous issues being attached? Are we going to face this again on February 6th as we go into the next deadline on the debt ceiling?" REP. PELOSI: "Well, I hope not because, as we are pleased what has happened in the Senate, that they came to terms and convinced the speaker that we should take this up in the House -- which is something we've been suggesting for a while -- but it's really a sad state of affairs that government would be shut down for 16 days, that the full faith and credit of the United States of America would be in doubt even for a moment. So it has taken its toll. And one of -- what could come out of it is that, however enthusiastic we are about our issues and our point of view, that we don't hold the government hostage and the full faith and credit of the United States hostage. I think that, hopefully, that lesson was learned. It shouldn't have been anything that needed to be learned but, hopefully, we'll crossed that because the American people are fully aware of the consequences." (MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," 10/16/13)

In 2014, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Said A Government Shutdown "Should Not Even Be In the Mix" And That Democrats Were "Not Going To Be Party To Shutting Down The Government." "She said in the past Republicans have been 'frivolous' about the idea of a government shutdown, adding that a government shutdown or a debt ceiling impasse 'should not even be in the mix' on Capitol Hill. 'We are not going to be party to shutting down the government,' she said." (John Shaw, "US Pelosi: Will Back Spending Deal If No 'Destructive Riders,'" Market News International-"The Main Wire ," 12/5/14)

In 2013, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Called Shutting Down Government Over One Issue "A Politics Of Idiocy, Of Confrontation, Of Paralysis"

In 2013, Schumer Compared Threatening A Government Shutdown To Saying "Unless We Get Our Way, We're Going To Do Huge Harm To The Nation, Huge Harm To Millions Of Innocent People, So Give It To Us." SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): "I don't buy that. I think -- look, I think the president stood strong, and he had to. The people who were running the show, the Ted Cruz, tea party Republicans, basically said, unless we get our way, we're going to do huge harm to the nation, huge harm to millions of innocent people, so give it to us. Had we given in this time, we'd be doing this again and again and again. There would be brinksmanship every quarter."(MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," 10/16/13)

In 2013, Schumer Criticized Government Shutdowns Saying, "I Believe In Immigration Reform. What If I Persuaded My Caucus To Say, I'm Going To Shut The Government Down, I Am Going To Not Pay Our Bills Unless I Get My Way? It's A Politics Of Idiocy, Of Confrontation, Of Paralysis." CNN'S JAKE TAPPER: "It was, we're not giving you anything. You have no leverage and you're wrong. Could this not have ended sooner if Democrats had not taken such a hard line?" SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): "Well, it was not a hard line on the substantive issues. It was a hard line saying, unless I get my way, I'm going to shut the government down, I'm going to risk default for the nation. Now, anyone can do that. I believe in immigration reform. What if I persuaded my caucus to say, I'm going to shut the government down, I am going to not pay our bills unless I get my way? It's a politics of idiocy, of confrontation, of paralysis. And so finally what happened, Barack Obama and Democrats said, we're not going to give in to this kind of brinksmanship, where basically a gun is put to your head." (CNN's "The Lead," 10/16/13)

In 2013, Senator Chuck Schumer Criticized The Idea Of Shutting Down The Government Over An Immigration Issue Saying, "We [Democrats] Could Say We're Shutting Down The Government, We're Not Going To Raise The Debt Ceiling Until You Pass Immigration Reform. It Would Be Governmental Chaos." SENATOR CHARLES SCHUMER: "Well, I think they're playing with fire. You don't negotiate over something like the debt ceiling because..." ABC'S GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "Other presidents have done it." SCHUMER: "No. The one time that it was really done in this kind of way, not just, well, it was a deadline and you have to decide abortion or something else, was in 2011. We went right up to the deadline. The stock market lost 2,000 points, $18 billion was lost by the American people. And in that case, the markets didn't believe it was true. Now, they are, because of their brinksmanship on federal spending and because of the kind of language Speaker Boehner used. So this - you could actually have the consequences of default a day or two before it actually occurs. This is playing with fire. And we are happy to negotiate. But we want to negotiate without a gun to our head. Speaker Boehner comes in and he says, basically, it's sort of like this. Someone goes into your house, takes your wife and children hostage. And then says, let's negotiate over the price of your house. You know, we could do the same thing on immigration. We believe strongly in immigration reform. We could say we're shutting down the government, we're not going to raise the debt ceiling until you pass immigration reform. It would be governmental chaos." (ABC's "This Week," 10/6/13)

In 2015, Senate Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY) Criticized Republicans For Wanting To Tie Immigration Reform To A Government Funding Bill Saying, "Do Not Hold Hostage The Funding Of The Department Of Homeland Security That Keeps Us Safe Over An Unrelated Fight On Immigration." "SENTOR CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY): "We would welcome a debate on immigration policies. Leader McConnell, he runs the Senate, He can start a debate on immigration on the floor, and in the -- on the floor of the Senate with the snap of his fingers. Let's vote on a clean bill. And then Senator McConnell, being the leader of the Senate, can put an immigration bill on the floor of the Senate. And we welcome that debate. We think we have the high ground on that debate. But we're not going to do it with a gun held to the head of the American people and say, you do this or we're going to shut down the government. Do not, we say to our Republican friends, do not hold hostage the funding of the Department of Homeland Security that keeps us safe over an unrelated fight on immigration." (Press Conference with Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), 2/5/15)

In 2015, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer Described A Government Shutdown As "Costly" And An Act Of "Holding Government Hostage"

House Democratic Whip, Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Described Government Shutdowns As "Costly" And As "Holding Government Hostage" From Working On Behalf Of The American People. "Today, December 11, was the deadline to pass a spending bill to avert another costly government shutdown. Although House Republican leaders have had ample time to pass a measure to fund the government for next year, we had to pass a short-term measure to allow negotiations to continue into next week. It is disappointing that Republicans are holding government hostage to extreme policy demands, and I hope that they will work with us to bring an omnibus - free of controversial policy riders - to the Floor next week so we can perform our most basic responsibility of keeping government open and working on behalf of the American people." ("Washington: Democrats Continue To Urge Bipartisan Action To Fund The Government, Address Expired Tax Provision," US Official News , 12/15/15)

Hoyer Stated He Did Not Want "A Damaging Government Shutdown" Because He "Represents Some 62,000 Federal Employees." " He also said it was the responsibility of Republicans, who now control Congress and the White House, to avert a damaging government shutdown. 'We don't want to shut down the government. I don't want to shut down the government -- I represent some 62,000 federal employees,' Hoyer said. 'In this case, [Republicans] have the majority in the House, they have the majority in the Senate, and they have the presidency of the United States. If the government shuts down, it will be all on them, period,' he said, pounding the table to accentuate each word. 'Any assertion to the contrary is illogical.'" ("Hoyer Assigns Blame To Republicans If Government Shuts Down," Congressional Quarterly News , 4/4/17)

In 2015, Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin Said A Government Shutdown Would Impact Some Of America's "Most Vulnerable Citizens"

In 2015, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) Voiced Concerns That A Government Shutdown Would Devastate 46.5 Million Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Recipients, Including Two Million People In Illinois. With the prospect of another federal government shutdown still a possibility, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL-05) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09) held a news conference today to discuss the impact a shutdown would have on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Without Congressional action, the government will shut down on October 1, jeopardizing SNAP benefits for 46.5 million Americans, including two million people in Illinois. During the 2013 shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was able to use funds remaining from the Recovery Act to maintain SNAP operations, but those funds have now expired. (Press Release, "Durbin, Quigley, Schakowsky Discuss Impact Of Potential Government Shutdown For SNAP Recipients," Senator Richard J. Durbin , 10/28/15)

Durbin Said That A 2015 Government Shutdown Would Impact Some Of America's "Most Vulnerable Citizens," Including "Children Whose Parents Are Struggling To Make Ends Meet, Seniors Living On A Limited Income, And Men And Women Who Lost Their Jobs Or Got Sick." "In 2013, a small, vocal minority forced a shutdown for 16 days, impacting people and businesses across the country. Once again, Republicans are playing political games with the livelihood of some of our most vulnerable citizens. SNAP recipients include children whose parents are struggling to make ends meet, seniors living on a limited income, and men and women who lost their jobs or got sick, Durbin said. I hope that cooler heads will prevail in the coming days and Congress gets busy taking care of the work we were sent to defund the government and develop a budget that enables our country to thrive." (Press Release, "Durbin, Quigley, Schakowsky Discuss Impact Of Potential Government Shutdown For SNAP Recipients," Senator Richard J. Durbin , 10/28/15)

In 2015, Durbin Warned That During The 2013 Shutdown, "3,400 Civilian Workers At Scott [Air Force Base] Were Sent Home, While 5,000 Active-Duty Troops Were Required To Work And Wait For Eventual Reimbursement." "Durbin, speaking at a news conference at Scott Air Force Base, warned of a severe economic impact for Southwestern Illinois if that effort fails. During the 2013 shutdown, 3,400 civilian workers at Scott were sent home, while 5,000 active-duty troops were required to work and wait for eventual reimbursement, Durbin said. 'I hope cooler heads will prevail in the coming days and Congress gets busy taking care of the work we were sent there to do -- fund the government and develop a budget that enables our country to thrive,' he said." ("Durbin: Government Shutdown Would Hurt Region," Belleville News-Democrat , 9/25/15)

Durbin Said A Government Shutdown Could Lead To "45,000 Federal Workers In Illinois Being Furloughed, The Illinois Emergency Management Agency Not Having Access To Federal Funds, And The National Guard Training Facing Potential Delays." "Where would we feel the effects of a federal shutdown? In 2013, some will remember, about 2,500 employees of Great Lakes Naval Station were furloughed for four days before being called back to work. Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin's office outlined some potential impacts: About 45,000 federal workers in Illinois would be furloughed, Durbin's office said. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency wouldn't have access to some federal funds. National Guard training could be delayed. 'A shutdown has a real impact on people and businesses across this country. The last shutdown lowered economic output - our GDP dropped,' Durbin said in a statement. 'Consumer confidence dropped. We saw $2 billion in lost productivity from furloughed employees.' (Mike Riopell, "What Happens In State, Suburbs If Federal Government Shuts Down?" Daily Herald , 9/24/15)

In 2013, Senator Bernie Sanders Criticized Government Shutdown As "Holding The American People Hostage" And Leading To "A Huge Amount Of Suffering"

In 2013, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Compared A Shutdown To "Holding The American People Hostage." "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today on the 11-day-old government shutdown and the debt ceiling: 'It is imperative that Republicans stop holding the American people hostage and let us reopen the government and pay our bills. Frankly, given the enormous problems facing this country, it is beyond belief that we have wasted weeks debating whether, for the first time in our history, the largest economy in the world should default and plunge the world into a severe financial crisis.'" (Press Release, "Sanders Statement On The Fiscal Crisis," Sen. Bernie Sanders , 10/11/13)

Sanders Said The Government Shutdown Led To "A Huge Amount Of Suffering" And Caused Americans To Worry About Potential Disruptions To Social Security And Disability Benefits. SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: "I think it speaks for itself. There's nothing more I have to comment on. We are seeing a huge amount of suffering in this country today, a million federal workers who are not getting paid, tens of millions of Americans. Veterans in the state of Vermont are worried they're not going to get their disability benefits. People are worried about whether or not they're going to get social security. Head Start is being impacted." (CNN's "CNN Newsroom," 10/15/13)

Sanders Said "Over 250,000 Veterans Who Are Now Employed In Every Branch Of Government, Men And Women Who Put Their Lives On The Line To Defend This Country, Are Not Getting Paid," Making The Shutdown Particularly Difficult For Veterans. "Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told a Capitol Hill news conference today that the government shutdown is hurting veterans. Some 7,000 Department of Veterans Affairs workers who had begun to shrink a backlog in disability benefits claims have been laid off. The call center has been shut down for veterans wanting to take advantage of college benefits under the GI Bill. VA offices that do personal interviews and hearings at regional offices for veterans seeking benefits are shut down. Throughout government, Sanders added, more than one-quarter of the federal workforce, 27.3 percent, are veterans. 'That means that today, over 250,000 veterans who are now employed in every branch of government, men and women who put their lives on the line to defend this country, are not getting paid. This shutdown is hurting our entire country. It is especially difficult for our veterans' community.' The situation for veterans could soon get much worse. (Press Release, "Shutdown Hurts Veterans," Senator Bernie Sanders , 10/9/13)

Sanders Warned That If The Shutdown Continued And The VA's Remaining Mandatory Funds Were Exhausted, "Over Four Million Veterans, Service-Members And Survivors Will Not Get The Benefits They Have Been Promised And Depend Upon" "Looking forward, Sanders said, VA has stated that claims processing for the payment of compensation, pension, education, and vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits will continue until VA's remaining mandatory funds for these programs are exhausted, which is projected to happen in late October - two or three weeks from now. Then VA will need to furlough another 14,000 employees. Again, half of these people are veterans themselves. 'If that disastrous scenario occurs, over four million veterans, service-members and survivors will not get the benefits they have been promised and depend upon. Without the necessary funds, VA will not be able to pay an average of $6.25 billion in monthly compensation, pension, education, and vocational rehabilitation benefits. That is an unimaginable disaster.' If the shutdown persisted, November compensation payments to more than 3.8 million veterans will stop. Payments will also stop for over 364,000 survivors and over 1,200 children receiving special benefits. Pension payments will stop for almost 315,000 veterans and over 202,000 surviving spouses and dependents. Educational benefits will stop for more than half a million students. 'Our veterans are not wealthy. Many of them depend on these benefits to feed themselves and their families, to pay their rent, to make ends meet,' Sanders said." (Press Release, "Shutdown Hurts Veterans," Senator Bernie Sanders , 10/9/13)

Just Last Year, Senator Elizabeth Warren Called Government Shutdowns "Staggeringly Irresponsible"

In 2013, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Called Threatening A Shutdown As "Last Resort For Those Who Can't Otherwise Win Their Fights Through Elections, Can't Win Their Fights In Congress, Can't Win Their Fights For The Presidency, And Can't Win Their Fights In Courts." "Sen. Elizabeth Warren railed against Republican 'hostage tactics' during a speech on the government shutdown. 'In a democracy, hostage tactics are the last resort for those who can't otherwise win their fights through elections, can't win their fights in Congress, can't win their fights for the Presidency, and can't win their fights in Courts,' Warren said. 'For this right-wing minority, hostage-taking is all they have left - a last gasp of those who cannot cope with the realities of our democracy.'" (Paige Lavender, "Elizabeth Warren: 'Hostage Taking' Is All Republicans Have Left," The Huffington Post , 10/1/13)

Senator Warren Said The 2013 Government Shutdown Disrupted Public Servants Receiving Paychecks, Cancer Patients Receiving Treatment, Veterans Receiving Benefits, Pregnant Women Receiving Basic Nutrition Services, And Small Businesses Receiving Federal Loans. "The government shutdown is throwing a major wrench into a fragile economic recovery. Nearly a million federal employees are sitting at home for no reason, and other public servants are working but not earning a paycheck. Cancer patients are being turned away from clinical trials at the NIH. Veterans' benefits are at risk. Basic nutrition services for pregnant women and new moms will be disrupted. Small businesses won't be able to get federal loan guarantees." (Press Releasse, "Senator Elizabeth Warren Remarks On The Senate Floor," Senator Elizabeth Warren , 10/3/13)

In 2015, Senator Warren Described A Government Shutdown As A "Hostage-Taking" That Holds ''The Whole Operation Of The Government Hostage," Insisting That The Last Government Shutdown "Nearly Tanked" The Economy. "Remember last year's government shutdown that nearly tanked our economy? That fight started with a GOP effort to hold the whole operation of the federal government hostage in order to try to force Democrats and the president to let employers deny workers access to birth control. Well, we rejected the hostage-taking. Democrats said 'no.' The president said 'no.' The American people said 'no' to this offensive idea." (Ashe Schow, "Elizabeth Warren: The Government Shutdown Was Over Birth Control," The Examiner , 7/15/15)

In September 2017, When Asked About A Potential Shutdown, Senator Warren Said Government Shutdowns Are "Staggeringly Irresponsible." SEN. ELIZABETH WARRNEN (D-MA): "It is staggeringly irresponsible to say, Let's just shut down the government. In fact, it was the threat of shutting down the government, the fact that the Republicans would own it since they have the White House, they have the Senate, they have the House of Representatives, that drove Congress towards cutting this budget deal that we're going to sign off on this week." (MSNBC, "Hardball With Chris Matthews," 5/2/17)

  • Warren Said A Government Shutdown Would Cost The U.S. "Literally Billions, Even Trillions Of Dollars." SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): "You know, and that's the thing. When the government is shut down, it costs this country literally billions, even trillions of dollars. We miss out on all kinds of contracts. We shut things down that mean that tourists can't come. It's everywhere." (MSNBC, "Hardball With Chris Matthews," 5/2/17)

In 2013, Senator Cory Booker Stated That "Tens Of Thousands Of New Jerseyans" Were Hurt By The Government Shutdown

Booker Explained That There Were "No Winners" In The 2013 Shutdown Because "Tens And Tens Of Thousands Of New Jerseyans Were Directly Impacted, Hurt, Had Their Lives In Many Ways Put In Deep Insecurity As A Result Of It." CNN'S JAKE TAPPER: "So, we just watched political dysfunction bring this town here that you're moving to to a screeching halt. Had you been here in Washington, do you think you would have done anything differently than what you saw and what will you try to do for future fiscal fights? There's probably going to be one welcoming you on your doorstep as you move here." SENATOR CORY BOOKER: "Yes. I can't say what I would have done. I'm one of those people that had a sideline seat like you did, but I did know right here in New Jersey, I saw firsthand how so many people, tens and tens of thousands of New Jerseyans were directly impacted, hurt, had their lives in many ways put in deep insecurity as a result of it. So, it's something that's just unacceptable. I think I agree with what the president said. There were no winners in this. There were just a lot of losers, starting with the American people." {CNN's "The Lead With Jake Tapper," 10/17/13)

Numerous Red State Democrat Senators Have Previously Criticized A Shutdown

In 2013, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) Called A Government Shutdown "Completely Unacceptable" And Said A Government Shutdown Would Lead To Delayed Benefits For Veterans, Furloughs For 39,000 Federal Employees In Missouri, And Delays In Vital Loans For Small Businesses And Social Security Checks For Seniors. "'It is completely unacceptable that U.S. House Republicans are willing to shut down the government. This will upset our economic recovery and cause thousands of Missourians real pain. They know that the President will not back up on his work to provide affordable and accessible health care. They know that the Senate will not overturn these reforms. A decision was made at the ballot box last November, and supporters of the Affordable Care Act were returned to office by the American people. We can negotiate federal spending and the budget. We should not negotiate on keeping our government functioning and paying our bills. It is time for Speaker Boehner to allow the House to vote on a clean government funding bill without the unrealistic and irresponsible political posturing.' A federal government shutdown will effect jobs and businesses across the country. Consequences will include: delayed benefits for our veterans; furloughs for 39,000 federal employees in Missouri; delays in vital loans for small businesses, and in Social Security checks for seniors enrolling in the program for the first time." (Press Release, "Mccaskill Blasts U.S. House For Shutting Down Government Jobs And Businesses Now Being Impacted After U.S. House Leadership Refuses To Allow Up-Or-Down Vote On Clean Funding Bill," Senator Claire McCaskill , 10/1/13)

In 2015, McCaskill Said, "I Am Not A Fan Of This Governing By Crisis That The Republicans Seem To Embrace. You Have Got To Do It My Way Or We're Going To Shut Everything Down. That's Not -- I Mean, This Is Why People Are So Angry At Washington." MSNBC'S JONATHAN CAPEHART: "Let me bring you home, closer to home. The potential of a government shutdown over funding of Planned Parenthood, what's the likelihood of that happening?" SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL: "I hope it's not great. I am not a fan of this governing by crisis that the Republicans seem to embrace. You have got to do it my way or we're going to shut everything down. That's not -- I mean, this is why people are so angry at Washington. This is why people are so cynical. If you don't have the votes to do something, then why would you want to shut down the government over it? That doesn't accomplish anything." (MSNBC's "UP," 8/30/15)

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) Stated That Everyone Lost In The 2013 Government Shutdown, Including The American People And The Economy, And Added That "There's No Need To Have A Shutdown Of The Government." SENATOR JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): "Piers, the only thing I can tell you is without trying to find some (inaudible) or whatever some words that would describe it. But when you jump into a pigpen, everybody comes out with a little bit of stink on them. And the bottom line is that anyone thinks they were walked away from this or one side won and one side lost, we all lost. The American people lost. I think it was - a figure was given today of $24 billion. The economy that we lost in your economy and it's lethargic to begin with. That's not coming back. So how anybody can take, any gratifications of pleasure of thinking we did better than they did. We've all outperformed so poorly. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves and that's what I have said. We should've never gotten to this. There's no need to have a shutdown of government." (CNN's "Piers Morgan Live," 10/17/13)

In 2015, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) Said Threatening A Government Shutdown Is "Immensely Disrespectful" To Public Servants And That "Federal Workers, Veterans, And Their Families Should Not Have To Pay A Price For Partisan Political Games." "'Threats of a government shutdown are immensely disrespectful to the dedicated public servants and hardworking people across our country who get up every day help move America forward. Federal workers, veterans, and their families should not have to pay a price for partisan political games. They do their job and we have a responsibility to do ours by keeping the government open for business,' said Senator Baldwin." (Press Release, "Washington: Democrats Push To Keep Federal Workers On The Job Despite Threats Of A Shutdown," Office Of The Senator Ben Cardin, 9/17/15)

In 2013, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) Stated "Every Member Of Congress Has A Responsibility To Put Aside Partisan Political Differences In Favor Of Finding Common-Sense Solutions" To Avoid A Government Shut Down. "'The way I see this, every member of Congress has a responsibility to put aside partisan political differences in favor of finding common-sense solutions,' said Nelson, a political moderate whose long advocated for more civility in public service. Nelson currently is in his third six-year term in the Senate, where he serves on both the Finance and Budget committees. The bipartisan, bicameral conference committee was created as part of the deal the House and Senate passed late last night to end the 16-day government shutdown and avoid a U.S. financial default." (Press Release, "US Senator From Florida Tapped To Help Fashion Bipartisan Budget Plan," Senator Bill Nelson , 10/17/13)

In 2015, Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) Criticized Lawmakers By Saying, "It Is Embarrassing That Some In Congress Are Willing To Bring Us To The Brink Of A Government Shutdown And Would Rather Play Games With Our Recovering Economy Than Solve The Problems And Challenges In Front Of Us." "With just over a week to avoid a shutdown, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly delivered a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate Monday evening, urging his colleagues to work together to ensure Congress meets its most basic responsibility: keeping the federal government open. Donnelly said, 'It is embarrassing that some in Congress are willing to bring us to the brink of a government shutdown and would rather play games with our recovering economy than solve the problems and challenges in front of us.' Donnelly also said during the speech: 'I've said before and I'll say it again, most Hoosiers think Congress can play a role in improving the economy - but at the very least we shouldn't make things worse. And now, despite the lessons learned just two years ago, we are once again debating whether Congress can meet its most basic needs and basic duties: keeping the government open.'" (Press Release, "Donnell To Congress: Do Your Job And Fund The Government," Office Of The Senator Joe Donnelly , 9/22/15)

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Stated That "Another Shutdown Would Hurt All Americans, But Would Be Particularly Hard On Those That Need The Help The Most: Children, Older Americans, And Those With Disabilities." "'Another shutdown would hurt all Americans, but would be particularly hard on those that need the help the most: children, older Americans, and those with disabilities,' Brown said. 'It's time to stop the partisan stunts, and pass a clean continuing resolution, so that these Ohio families don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.'" (Press Release, "With 1.7 Million Ohioans Depending On Food Assistance, Brown Calls For Action To Prevent A Government Shutdown," Senator Sherrod Brown , 9/23/15)

In 2013, Jon Tester (D-MT) Said About Government Shutdowns, "You Don't, As A Minority, Take Your One Issue And Stop Everything By Shutting Down The Government." "All government agencies interact with each other to do their work, and it doesn't make sense to restart some while not others, Tester said. 'You don't, as a minority, take your one issue and stop everything by shutting down the government,' he said. 'And that's what has happened back here.' Tester said he's willing to work closely with both parties to resolve differences on spending and other key issues, but that GOP hardliners want to shut down the government unless they get their way. 'We're wasting a lot of money and a lot of time,' he said. 'We're attaching another boat anchor to our economy.'" (Mike Dennison, "Impact Of Shutdown In State Unclear," The Billings Gazette , 10/9/13)

Senator Tester Warned That "Our Economy Can't Afford Another Government Shutdown And The American People Expect Congress To Govern." "This bill falls short when it comes to making responsible investments in Montana's counties, schools, and infrastructure. But ultimately our economy can't afford another government shutdown and the American people expect Congress to govern. It's my hope that moving forward Washington will start working together to give our families, small businesses, and economy more certainty." (Press Release, "Tester: Congress Must Stop Governing With 'Band-Aid Budgets,'" Senator Jon Tester , 12/9/16)

In 2014, Senator Tester Said "Avoiding A Shutdown Is The Most Important Issue For Lawmakers," Describing A Government Shutdown As "Taking A Hacksaw To The Government." "Montana lawmakers said Monday they plan to work this week on preventing a federal government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30. Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said avoiding a shutdown is the most important issue for lawmakers this week. 'The clock is ticking,' Tester said. 'Taking a hacksaw to government and shutting it down is not the way to go.'" ("Montana Lawmakers Say They Hope To Avoid Fed Government Shutdown," The Lewiston Tribune , 9/16/14)

In 2015, Tester Described Preventing A Government Shutdown As "Governing By Crisis And Expecting The American People To Pick Up The Slack." "'Preventing a government shutdown should be the easiest part of Congress' job, yet we avoided it by the skin of our teeth. Some folks in Congress have forgotten that the last government shutdown cost our nation's economy billions of dollars. Congress cannot keep governing by crisis and expecting the American people to pick up the slack. For the sake of our economy, we must do better.'" (Press Release, "Tester Votes To Prevent Government Shutdown," Senator Jon Tester , 9/30/15)

Senator Casey Previously Said A Government Shutdown Risks "Our Nation's Economy With A Game Of Reckless Brinksmanship" That Would Have "Serious Consequences For Markets, Jobs, Seniors And Middle Class Pennsylvanians." "'A manufactured debt crisis is wholly irresponsible and will have serious consequences for markets, jobs, seniors and middle class Pennsylvanians. It is simply unacceptable to allow a small group in the tea party to risk our nation's economy with a game of reckless brinksmanship," Casey said following [Jack Lew]'s testimony. "In the event of a catastrophic economic debacle, it will be middle class Pennsylvanians that will shoulder the consequences. As Secretary Lew asked in his testimony 'how can the United States choose whether to send Social Security checks to seniors or pay our benefits to our veterans? How can the United States choose whether to provide children with food assistance or meet our obligations to Medicare providers?'" (Damon C. Williams, "Sen. Casey Urges Republicans To Vote On Resolution," The Philadelphia Tribune , 10/13/13)


A Federal Government Shutdown Would Negatively Impact The Daily Lives Of Many Americans

A Government Shut Down Would Leave The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Without Reauthorization, Putting The Insurance Of At Least 8 Million Children At Risk. "On Tuesday, House Republican leadership released a continuing resolution that would keep the government funded for one month. Included in the deal is a six-year reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, a program that insures at least 8 million children whose parents have too much money for Medicaid, but don't have adequate funding for private insurance. Federal funds for the program, which has bipartisan support, lapsed on September 30 amid disagreements on how to pay for it, with both sides of the aisle arguing their opponents were politicizing the issue." (Alana Abramson, "How The Government Shutdown Fight Could Stall A Program That Gives Millions Of Children Health Insurance," Time , 1/17/18)

  • The Center For Medicare And Medicaid Services Said The Funds For CHIP Would Begin Running Out In Some States Starting January 19 th. "Although Congress approved $2.85 billion in December to fund the program through March 31, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services said funds for the program would actually begin to dry up in some states starting January 19, although the center did not specify the exact states that would be impacted." (Alana Abramson, "How The Government Shutdown Fight Could Stall A Program That Gives Millions Of Children Health Insurance," Time , 1/17/18)

Kids With Cancer Could Get Turned Away From Treatment In The Event Of A Government Shutdown. "Here's one last impact to add to the list. As long as the government is shut down, the National Institutes of Health says it will turn away roughly 200 patients each week from its clinical research center, including children with cancer. 'We've had to tell people, 'I'm sorry, you can't come here,' NIH Director Francis Collins told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. See this post for more information and context." (Brad Plumer, "The Nine Most Painful Impacts Of A Government Shutdown," The Washington Post , 10/3/13)

A Government Shutdown Could Cause Problems For The Military, Including Disrupting Military Pay And Halting Some Military Programs. "As Congress and the White House flirt with another potential shutdown of the federal government, chances are growing for a disruption to military pay and programs starting this week. … It will also affect the Department of Defense. A 16-day shutdown in October 2013 caused a rash of military programs to come to a sudden halt, including pay stoppage for military and civilian personnel and the disruption of base services such as commissaries. In addition, death gratuity payments for 30 Gold Star families were also disrupted." (Claudia Grisales, "Government Shutdown Could Halt Military Pay, Programs," Stars And Stripes , 12/5/17)

A Government Shutdown Could Cause Disruptions To Social Security And Medicare Beneficiaries And Applicants. " During the 1995-96 government shutdown, the Social Security Administration stopped processing new applications for benefits, although as the shutdown dragged on, the agency eventually brought in more employees and renewed the process. It may be harder to get questions answered and problems dealt with. New applicants had to wait in 1995-96. There should be no immediate impact on enrollees' medical services, experts say, though reimbursements to doctors and hospitals could slow down if the contractors that process claims are deemed inessential. Still, doctors and hospitals aren't paid every day, so unless a shutdown continues for weeks, the effects will likely be minimal. A government shutdown will likely affect Social Security disability recipients who are applying for Medicare. By law, Social Security disability recipients must wait two years from the date of their receipt of disability benefits to qualify for Medicare. Delays in decisions caused by the shutdown could have a significant impact on these individuals." (Kim Keister, "How The Government Shutdown May Impact You," AARP , 10/01/13).

A Government Shut Down Could Impact The Department Of Veterans Affairs' Ability To Pay Disability Claims Or Make Pension Payments For Veterans. "Officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs have quietly told Congress that they likely won't have enough money to pay disability claims or make pension payments for veterans if a government shutdown lasts for more than two or three weeks. That could affect some 3.6 million veterans who receive these benefits. In a briefing with Congress, VA officials warned that many veterans depend almost entirely on these checks for their livelihood, and many have not been given enough time or information to prepare." (Brad Plumer, "The Nine Most Painful Impacts Of A Government Shutdown," The Washington Post , 10/3/13)

Some Head Start Programs Would Be Forced To Close As A Result Of A Government Shutdown. "There are some 1,600 Head Start programs around the country providing education, health, nutrition and other services to roughly 1 million low-income children and their families. Those will slowly begin closing during a shutdown. Initially, only about 20 programs would be affected - the programs whose federal grants expire on Oct. 1 and don't get renewed. Over time, more programs would likely be affected. The effects really vary from community to community." (Brad Plumer, "The Nine Most Painful Impacts Of A Government Shutdown," The Washington Post , 10/3/13)

National Parks, National Zoos, And National Museums Could Shut Down. "Need to get away? Well, you can't. At least not to national parks. Or to national zoos. Or to national museums. They'll be shuttered. That's more than 300 National Park Service sites closed, millions of visitors turned away. Not so fast. A shutdown would affect the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Translation: That gun permit you wanted to get processed may not happen anytime soon if this goes on for a while." (Saeed Ahmed, "You're Going To Feel The Effects Of A Government Shutdown," CNN , 4/25/17)

  • Last Time There Was A Government Shutdown, National Parks Lost Approximately $76 Million Per Day In Revenue. "Departments like the National Park System and NASA were entirely shut down. As a result, national parks lost about $76 million per day in revenue, according to ABC News." (Sonam Sheth, "Here's What Would Happen If The Government Shuts Down This Week," Business Insider , 04/25/17)

During A Shutdown, The Small Business Administration Would No Longer Help Small Firms Win Government Contracts, Help Veteran-Owned Businesses, Or Work To Boost International Trade. "The Small Business Administration has provided guarantees for some $106 billion in loans to more than 193,000 small businesses over the last four years. It also runs programs to help small firms win government contracts, help veteran-owned businesses, and boost international trade. All that would cease in a shutdown. Although the SBA would continue to back existing loans in its portfolio, it wouldn't initiate any new loan guarantees." (Brad Plumer, "The Nine Most Painful Impacts Of A Government Shutdown," The Washington Post , 10/3/13)

During The 2013 Government Shutdown, The U.S. Lost An Estimated $1.5 Billion Per Day. " 'The US lost $24 billion during the 2013 shutdown, according to Standard & Poor's estimates. That's about $1.5 billion per day.'" (Sonam Sheth, "Here's What Would Happen If The Government Shuts Down This Week," Business Insider , 04/25/17)

The Last Time The Federal Government Shut Down In 2013, Approximately 800,000 Federal Employees Were Furloughed Without Pay. " During the last government shutdown in October 2013, out of around 2 million federal employees, 800,000 were deemed inessential and were not permitted to work or receive pay during the shutdown." (Sonam Sheth, "Here's What Would Happen If The Government Shuts Down This Week," Business Insider , 04/25/17)

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