"Stop covering for the President…" demands Mike Quigley on the U.S. House of Representatives floor

Date: 
01/05/2019
MikeQuigley

"Stop covering for the President as he doubles down on his reckless mistake, pass these Senate-supported bills, and provide American families, businesses, and communities with the certainty they deserve," stated U.S. House of Representatives Illinois 5th District Representative Mike Quigley, before the vote on the bills to end the shutdown and reopen government. 

Quigley, Chairman-designate of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Appropriations, made this request on Jan. 3 on the House floor, directed at President Donald Trump's third government shutdown. 

"More than 800,000 federal employees left wondering when their next paycheck is going to arrive—forced to choose between paying their mortgage or their child’s daycare; financial markets and businesses rattled by a President that is willing to throw the economy into chaos over his own pride; and American families deprived of vital government services they rely on. 

"I’ve seen firsthand how this shutdown is impacting communities around the country. 

"For example, the doors to the Small Business Administration are shut. This means a complete halt to the processing of federal loan assistance applications for small businesses, which typically amount to $1 billion per month. 

"We have more than 30 million small businesses in our communities—thousands of which apply every month for federal loan assistance—and we are failing them. We talk about supporting job creation and ensuring small businesses can grow, but when a business owner cannot get a loan approved, that is a broken promise. 

"At the IRS, tens of thousands of employees who are supposed to be at the ready to answer taxpayer’s questions and to process tax returns are instead furloughed, leaving the phones to continue ringing unanswered as we move into the 2018 filing season. 

"The Securities and Exchange Commission—the agency responsible for policing Wall Street—has furloughed 94 percent of its staff. It is now preparing to scale back law enforcement and litigation efforts, putting at risk the safety and stability of our markets. 

"These are just three agencies. The list goes on and on. 

"The bill that is before us today to fund the agencies covered by the Financial Services appropriations bill is not the bill I would have written myself. 

"I’m disappointed that after securing funding last year to help states better defend their election systems, we were unable to come to an agreement to lock down additional money for next year. The overwhelming demand for assistance is clearly there, as every single state and eligible territory requested funding. 

"However, even though the President and many of my Republican colleagues refuse to do what’s needed to defend our election systems from foreign interference, we must do what is right and what is responsible, and that is why I’m still going to support this bill. 

"Ultimately, it will do the foundational job that the American people expect us to do. This bill provides resources for our core government operations to resume and function properly. 

"Whether it is the Federal Communications Commission or the National Archives, the federal Judiciary or federal drug control offices – it’s time. Thirteen days past time, to end the ego trips and the nonsense and get back to work. 

"I believe that we should always strive for bipartisanship when we can. That’s exactly what the Senate did when they overwhelmingly passed the bills we’re voting on tonight. But while I would never ask any one of my colleagues, whether Democrat or Republican, to cave on their core convictions. That’s exactly what the President and House Republicans are asking us to do by wasting over $5 billion on an ineffective border wall that has come to serve one purpose alone: to symbolize hate, exclusion, and irrational fear. 

"This is clearly not how you negotiate a deal in good faith and it’s never appropriate to hold paychecks and vital government services hostage as a deal-making tactic." 

NOTE: Representative Quigley is scheduled to be at the East Village meeting, January 7 at 7 p.m. in the Happy Village Tavern, 1059 N. Wolcott.

Photo: Elaine A. Coorens

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