Government Shutdown Is the Latest Attack on America’s Children and Families

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the administration and its allies in Congress failed to fulfill one of their most basic duties and could not pass even a short-term budget proposal, leading to a government shutdown. A stopgap spending bill that was passed in December lapsed at midnight. Janet Murguía, UnidosUS President and CEO, gave the following statement:

“The administration and Republican congressional leadership have shown time and time again that our nation’s children and families are not a priority. After passing a tax bill that lines the pockets of the wealthy at the expense of our working families and kids, some in Congress are more than willing to further attack their health and well-being. They are simply out of touch with the needs of the American people.

Our nation’s leaders should be focused on improving our education system, expanding access to health care, creating jobs and taking care of Americans when they are at their most vulnerable. Instead of building upon programs that work, they are trying to undercut funding for programs that have proven to be successful, like CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), which provides health care to lower-income children in working families. Instead of helping families recover from the devastation of natural disasters, they have failed to pass necessary disaster relief funding to get help to families in California, Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico. Instead of embracing the contributions of hardworking immigrant families, they are devastating those same families by failing to pass a bill to allow DREAMers to continue contributing to our nation.

For weeks, the White House and members of Congress have been assigning each other blame for the potential shutdown. The reality is that the responsibility for this lies in the president and his shifting demands for an extremist anti-immigrant agenda, for rejecting a bipartisan DACA deal, and on those Republicans in Congress who are willful participants in a game where the American people have been set up to lose.”