Legislation to prevent the government from shutting down failed Friday night in the U.S. Senate ahead of the midnight deadline, causing the much of the federal government to officially shut down early Saturday morning. The shutdown occurred after Senate Democrats blocked consideration of a four-week stopgap spending measure to keep the government operating.
Failure to pass H.R. 195, the Continuing Resolution (CR), caused the government to shut down for the first time since 2013. Social Security and most other safety net programs are unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority as they are covered by mandatory spending. Critical government functions will continue, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers scheduled to work without pay. If no deal reached before Monday, two million federal employees will be furloughed and given leave of absence.
Here’s what the Alabama delegation is saying about the shutdown:
It is unacceptable that Democrats would vote against a measure to keep our government open to do the work of the American people. I do not believe that shutting down the government is a solution to the problems we face as a country. A shutdown is destructive to the American taxpayer, no matter the circumstances.
…Democrats have chosen partisan politics over funding our government, funding our troops, and providing health insurance to low-income children and pregnant women. The American people deserve better.
This is shameful. Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats have officially shut down the federal government. A majority of House members and a majority of Senate members voted to keep the government open and fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) but arcane Senate rules and Democrat obstruction blocked the bill from moving forward.
While I continue to have serious concerns with short-term funding measures, I still voted in favor of the Continuing Resolution this week in the House because I believe it is critical that we keep the government open and running, especially as it relates to our military and reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP),” Representative Roby said. “I am deeply disappointed that Senate Democrats chose to let the government shut down over an unrelated immigration issue that does not have an immediate deadline.
One of the fundamental purposes of our government is to provide for the common defense to protect our liberties. Unfortunately, Democrats chose illegal immigrants over our brave men and women who serve in uniform and forced our government to shut down. Their actions also hurt children across East Alabama and the country that rely on CHIP. Playing politics with those who defend our freedom and the health care of the kids who need it the most is unconscionable to me.
Congress has one job that it must do each and every year and that is to keep the government funded through Appropriations bills. Despite bipartisan support for passage of the House bill to fund the government, Senate Democrats have voted to shutdown the government utilizing an arcane parliamentary rule. It is far past time for the Senate to get out of its own way and to get out of the way of the American people.
This article will be updated as additional statements are made.