Menendez, Booker, Sires, Payne Demand End to #TrumpShutdown, Outline Impact on NJ

Menendez, Booker, Sires, Payne Demand End to #TrumpShutdown, Outline Impact on NJ

Thousands of federal workers in NJ furloughed, forced to work without pay

 

NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, along with Congressmen Albio Sires (N.J.-08) and Donald Payne, Jr. (N.J.-10), today called for an immediate end to the Trump Shutdown that has left 800,000 federal workers—including over 5,000 in New Jersey—furloughed or forced to work without pay for nearly three weeks.  While the impacts of lost services are being felt statewide, Senate Republican leaders refuse to call a vote on House-passed legislation to reopen the government that was unanimously approved by the Senate last month.  

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“Across our federal government we’re fortunate to have a highly-professional workforce. Yet these 800,000 federal employees and their families are being treated like political pawns in Donald Trump’s pointless and cruel government shutdown,” said Sen. Menendez.  “I’m talking about brave members of the Coast Guard, National Park rangers and port security inspectors, administrators who authorize Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgages or federal small business loans, and IRS workers who get our tax refunds out the door.  To Trump, these hardworking Americans are just political pawns, bargaining chips, collateral damage in his egotistical quest to fulfill a ludicrous campaign promise.”

“The Trump Shutdown is inflicting unnecessary pain on hundreds of thousands of workers across our nation, leaving many families struggling to pay rent, put food on the table, and keep the lights on,” said Sen. Booker.  “From Newark Airport to the Coast Guard patrolling off the Jersey Shore, the callous political games President Trump is willing to play at the expense of American workers is simply shameful.  It’s time for the Senate to take immediate action to end this senseless shutdown and put the federal employees across New Jersey and our nation who are being forced to bear the burden of this avoidable disaster back to work.”

“The men and women, who have been furloughed or are forced to work without pay, deserve more from their government,” said Rep. Sires.  “The President is holding the financial security of these families in limbo as he makes foolish demands and rejects reasonable, bipartisan legislation that could end the shutdown.  It is time that Senator McConnell and President Trump listen to the will of the American people and reopen the government.”

“The people who work at our nation’s airports keep us safe,” said Rep. Payne.  “Their hard work is the reason the United States has the world’s safest airline industry. It is a shame that hard-working Americans all around us are having to work without the promise of a paycheck during the Trump shutdown.  Let’s restore sanity to our government and end the Trump shutdown madness.”

The lawmakers stood at Newark Liberty International Airport where Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents, air traffic controllers, customs inspectors, and other essential federal employees are currently working without pay, to call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring to a vote, a series of House-passed bills to end the shutdown that were approved unanimously by the Republican-controlled Senate last month.  

The impact of the partial federal government shutdown is being felt across New Jersey:

  • Over 5,000 federal employees in New Jersey have lost pay to feed their families and pay their bills.
  • U.S. Coast Guard: Hundreds of servicemembers from the only military branch not funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) and charged with keeping our waters and shore safe from New York Harbor to Cape May are forced to work without pay.
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): Air traffic controllers in Newark work tirelessly to ensure over 440,000 safe aircraft movements each year in what is the nation’s busiest airspace and are currently working without pay.
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA): Hundreds of TSA agents responsible for ensuring safe air travel and screening passengers at New Jersey airports are currently working without pay.
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): 818,000 New Jerseyans rely on SNAP to feed their families. Their benefits could be substantially reduced if the shutdown lasts into February and eliminated by March.
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Families looking to buy a new home are at a standstill because new home loans are not being processed.  In 2018, 28,400 FHA loans were made in New Jersey.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA): There are more than 850,000 small businesses in New Jersey.  The shutdown threatens their ability to access critical financing from the SBA.  Last year, the SBA made 2,602 loans to small businesses in New Jersey.
  • National Parks: There are 12 national parks in New Jersey that are affected by the shutdown including Sandy Hook, Paterson Great Falls, and the Thomas Edison National Historic Park.