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Following a recent meeting with federal workers at Sea-Tac Airport, in a new floor speech Senator Murray shared stories and anecdotes detailing how Washington state families and communities have been negatively impacted by President Trump’s partial shutdown of the federal government  

Senator Murray to Senate Republicans: “Let’s send a message to President Trump that the people who sent us here want this dysfunction to end. Let’s finally end this Trump shutdown—and then let’s get to work fixing the problems it created and getting our country back on track”

ICYMI: Sen. Patty Murray: Federal workers ‘being held hostage’ by shutdown – MORE HERE

***WATCH SENATOR MURRAY’S FLOOR SPEECH HERE*** 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) urged her Republican colleagues to listen to their constituents and stand up to President Trump to reverse his partial shutdown of the federal government. In a speech on the Senate floor, Senate Murray shared several stories and anecdotes from Washingtonians about how President Trump’s shutdown is negatively impacting their lives, including anecdotes from several federal workers Senator Murray met at Sea-Tac Airport last Friday who have been affected by the shutdown. Senator Murray also highlighted the growing impact of the Trump Shutdown—now in its 24th day—on families and communities across Washington state, and called on Republicans to end the unnecessary dysfunction and pass legislation to reopen the federal government.

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s floor speech:

M. President, the lists of impacts of this Trump shutdown goes on and on—and they reach far beyond the simple descriptions or the headlines we see in the news. They are being felt every day by actual people and actual families—who simply don’t understand why they are being hurt and held hostage by President Trump and his Republican allies. So Democrats are going to be spending our time sharing the stories of those impacts—and pushing as hard as we can to persuade Republican leaders to work with us to end this crisis.”

“This past weekend – when it became clear the Senate would not get a chance to take votes on re-opening the government – I flew home to Washington state. I walked through security lines on my way out and thanked the men and women of TSA working to protect us—and not knowing when they will be paid. And when I got to the airport in Seattle, I sat down with federal workers who had tears in their eyes describing their fear over the uncertainty the Trump Shutdown has caused. I talked to an air traffic controller who worked overtime during the busy holiday travel season and who worries about the added stress and distractions on top of an already tough job. I heard from a Coast Guard spouse who talked about friends in a similar situation returning Christmas presents to pay bills. Story after story—workers, their families, small business owners, and so many more.”

“This is about individuals, and their stories—but it is also rippling across communities. Right now, in my home state of Washington, paychecks are frozen for nearly 13,000 workers. They are workers who are not going out and spending money at local businesses the way they usually do. At risk of missing rent payments, mortgage payments, car payments, phone bills, credit card bills. And they may know they will get their back pay eventually—when this shutdown finally ends—but that won’t cover the late fees, it won’t cover the interest fees—and it sure won’t compensate them for the emotional anguish and deep uncertainty.”

“Millions of other people in my home state, like every state, are affected by the work that is NOT happening, or at risk of being cut off. Routine inspections on Washington state ferries. An accident investigation report concerning a deadly train accident. Decision-making on the ongoing Hanford nuclear site cleanup process. Applications for Federal financial student aid. Federal food safety inspections. Emergency food supplies for hungry families. Assistance for domestic violence survivors and crime victims.”

“The government can’t even pay its bills – and just this morning, I saw the headline, ‘Layoffs hit two space companies.’ One of those is in my home state—Tethers Unlimited said it will lay off 20 percent of its employees because it hasn’t been paid for its government work during the shutdown. M. President—this is absurd. This is no way for a country like ours to run. It’s shameful—and, once again, it needs to end.”

“This isn’t a theoretical issue—it’s not just a debate here in DC—it’s very real for millions and millions of people—and that number continues to grow with each passing day. So I and other Democrats are going to be making sure that these stories aren’t forgotten or pushed aside. We are proud to be joined by a growing number of Republicans who are also hearing from their constituents, and who know that this shutdown simply cannot be justified or explained. And we’re going to keep this pressure up—we won’t stop—until President Trump agrees to end this crisis, or until Republican leaders in the Senate finally decide to stand up to him and work with us to end it for him.”

Watch video of Senator Murray’s floor speech HERE.

Senator Murray’s floor speech below, as prepared for delivery:

“M. President, I come to the floor today to urge my Republican colleagues to do the right thing and stand with us to reopen the government and end this completely unnecessary and absurd crisis.

“M. President—President Trump’s latest government shutdown is now the longest one in American history.

“24 days of workers not sure when their next paycheck will come.

“24 days of economic impacts in communities all across the country.

“24 days of slowdowns at our airports.

“24 days of small business owners waiting on their loans.

“24 days of trash piling up and irreparable damage being done at our national parks.

“24 days of dysfunction.

“24 days of chaos.

“24 days of government simply not working at its most basic duties—not being allowed to work by its own leaders.

“24 days of story after story here in the United States of America that would embarrass citizens of far less developed nations.

“24 days.

“It’s truly shameful—and it needs to end.

“But sadly, President Trump and Republicans here in the Senate have not given us any indication that any kind of end is in sight.

“M. President, the lists of impacts of this Trump shutdown goes on and on—and they reach far beyond the simple descriptions or the headlines we see in the news.

“They are being felt every day by actual people and actual families—who simply don’t understand why they are being hurt and held hostage by President Trump and his Republican allies.

“So Democrats are going to be spending our time sharing the stories of those impacts—and pushing as hard as we can to persuade Republican leaders to work with us to end this crisis.

“M. President, last week I shared some of the letters I’d received from air traffic controllers from my home state of Washington, who are doing their jobs to keep the public safe.

“But without a paycheck coming in, they are feeling the stress and wondering how they’ll pay their mortgages, child care bills, and more.

“I’ve heard from thousands of people who are writing, calling, and tweeting about the pain the Trump Shutdown is causing.

“One woman from Seattle – a federal employee of 25 years – wrote that the stress of not knowing how she will manage her bills is causing her sleepless nights.

“She’s worried about her credit score taking a hit if she can’t pay her bills on time.

“And she’s trying to balance it all while helping care for her father, a Navy veteran suffering from a progressive neurological disease.

“Another man wrote to me – he’s not a federal employee, but he and his wife own a small business frequented by people who are.

“He told me the shutdown has brought his business to a halt.

“A U.S. Forest Service worker wrote to me saying that he is pretty sure he can weather the shutdown financially, but is scared for his coworkers who cannot.

“And he’s worried about the deeper damage being done to his restoration work in the Olympic National Forest.

“M. President, I know that every one of my colleagues is getting letters like those.

“Hundreds, thousands of them.

“They need to read some of those letters.

“And I would challenge them—and anyone who doubts the sincerity and fear so many Americans are feeling right now—to sit down and hear from them face-to-face.

“This past weekend – when it became clear the Senate would not get a chance to take votes on re-opening the government – I flew home to Washington state.

“I walked through security lines on my way out and thanked the men and women of TSA working to protect us—and not knowing when they will be paid.

“And when I got to the airport in Seattle, I sat down with federal workers who had tears in their eyes describing their fear over the uncertainty the Trump Shutdown has caused.

“I talked to an air traffic controller who worked overtime during the busy holiday travel season and who worries about the added stress and distractions on top of an already tough job.

“I heard from a Coast Guard spouse who talked about friends in a similar situation returning Christmas presents to pay bills. 

“Story after story—workers, their families, small business owners, and so many more.

“This is about individuals, and their stories—but it is also rippling across communities.

“Right now, in my home state of Washington, paychecks are frozen for nearly 13,000 workers.

“They are workers who are not going out and spending money at local businesses the way they usually do.

“At risk of missing rent payments, mortgage payments, car payments, phone bills, credit card bills.

“And they may know they will get their back pay eventually—when this shutdown finally ends—but that won’t cover the late fees, it won’t cover the interest fees—and it sure won’t compensate them for the emotional anguish and deep uncertainty.

“And M. President, that is just those 13,000 workers and their families.

“Millions of other people in my home state, like every state, are affected by the work that is NOT happening, or at risk of being cut off.

“Routine inspections on Washington state ferries.

“An accident investigation report concerning a deadly train accident.

“Decision-making on the ongoing Hanford nuclear site cleanup process.

“Applications for Federal financial student aid.

“Federal food safety inspections.

“Emergency food supplies for hungry families.

“Assistance for domestic violence survivors and crime victims.

“The government can’t even pay its bills – and just this morning, I saw the headline, ‘Layoffs hit two space companies.’

“One of those is in my home state—Tethers Unlimited said it will lay off 20 percent of its employees because it hasn’t been paid for its government work during the shutdown.

“M. President—this is absurd. This is no way for a country like ours to run. It’s shameful—and, once again, it needs to end.

“Because those are just a few stories—just a few of the impacts.

“There are so many more. Big ones and small ones. Narrow ones and broad ones.

“From single workers and their families being impacted in unique and specific ways—to entire industries and regions being harmed.

“This isn’t a theoretical issue—it’s not just a debate here in DC—it’s very real for millions and millions of people—and that number continues to grow with each passing day.

“So I and other Democrats are going to be making sure that these stories aren’t forgotten or pushed aside.

“We are proud to be joined by a growing number of Republicans who are also hearing from their constituents, and who know that this shutdown simply cannot be justified or explained.

“And we’re going to keep this pressure up—we won’t stop—until President Trump agrees to end this crisis, or until Republican leaders in the Senate finally decide to stand up to him and work with us to end it for him.

“M. President, I want to close with this final point.

“Although no shutdown is good, this one is particularly obscene—and particularly unnecessary.

“Democrats and Republicans right here in the Senate voted unanimously just a few weeks ago to keep government open without any funding for President Trump’s wall.

“The House has voted to do the same.

“Whatever one thinks about using American taxpayer dollars to pay for President Trump’s wall—a wall, I would remind my colleagues, that he promised Mexico would pay for…

“…there is absolutely no reason to keep this government shut down while we have that debate.

“All that does is hurt people, hurt communities, and hurt our country—for absolutely no reason at all.

“President Trump and some of his Republican allies may see this as a political fight that they need to win—I see this as a fight for the people we represent, for a government that functions, and for a country that we all know can do better than this.

“This is about whether we send the alarming message that President Trump can make outlandish demands, throw a tantrum, not care how much instability he causes or how many people he hurts—and get away with it…

“…Or if instead we make clear that his bad behavior will not be rewarded—that tantrums and dysfunctional governing are not the path to success.

“So I call on Republican leaders, once again, to allow a vote on the bill the House passed.

“That bill would pass overwhelmingly—just like it did last month.

“Let’s send a message to President Trump that the people who sent us here want this dysfunction to end.

“Let’s finally end this Trump shutdown—and then let’s get to work fixing the problems it created and getting our country back on track.

“Thank you, I yield the floor.”