By Tom Udall Press Office
U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) joined his Democratic colleagues in taking to the Senate floor to demand “unanimous consent” to take up the bipartisan appropriations bills passed by the House to reopen the federal government. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell blocked Senate Democrats’ efforts despite the fact that tomorrow, thousands of federal workers will miss their first paychecks due to the Trump shutdown. Meanwhile, as working families go without paychecks and critical public services grind to a halt, President Trump will travel to McAllen, Texas, for a photo opportunity, as he continues to keep the government shut down over a wasteful wall that border communities reject.
“Today, I joined with my Democratic colleagues and took to the Senate floor to call on Republican leaders to do their jobs and end this Trump shutdown now. Too many New Mexicans have already been hurt as the president holds their livelihoods hostage. The Senate can and should immediately pass this bipartisan package that would reopen the federal government, especially since Republican leaders supported these same appropriations bills in the last Congress. But Leader McConnell refused that request and also denied our demands to pass a separate emergency bill that would give relief to the hundreds of thousands of federal workers – including thousands in New Mexico – whose lives have been thrown into chaos by the Trump shutdown.
“This is indefensible. Twenty days into this Trump shutdown, and one day before federal workers will go without paychecks, families all across New Mexico are paying a steep price for this act of deliberate obstructionism. Thousands of New Mexico workers and their families are facing deep economic anxiety as they wonder how they will make their mortgage or rent payments, and put food on the table to feed their families. Yet Republican leaders continue to let President Trump hold the livelihoods of working families hostage in a deeply misguided attempt to force American taxpayers to pay for the president’s wasteful and ineffective border wall.