AFGE denounces 3rd government shutdown

The following is from the American Federation of Government Employees:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 23, 2018) — President Trump shut down large portions of the government Dec. 22 after refusing to back down from his demand that Congress give him $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Funding for several government agencies ran out as Trump refused to back a deal that would have kept the government running through Feb. 8, 2019 but would not have provided funding for a border wall.

Our union is urging Trump and Congress to come to an agreement, re-open our government, and pass long-term spending bills that include a 1.9% pay raise for federal employees in 2019.

“Federal employees want to go to work. They believe in their mission and want to provide quality services to the American people,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “But now, 420,000 of them will report to work on Monday and won’t get paid for it. More than 380,000 employees will be locked out of work without pay. This is the third shutdown of the year, and it’s no way to run our country.”

Failing to fund the government even for a day has real-world consequences. The 2013 shutdown lasted 16 days, cost American taxpayers $24 billion, and caused valuable work to grind to a halt. Hundreds of cancer patients, for example, were prevented from enrolling in NIH clinical trials. 6,300 children were denied access to Head Start programs for up to 9 days. 1,200 EPA site inspections were canceled. 1,400 OSHA inspections to prevent workplace fatalities and injuries were stopped.

“Every day that this shutdown continues, more Americans will begin to feel the effects as federal offices close their doors to the public, the government stops paying its bills, and hundreds of thousands of government workers no longer get paid,” Cox added.

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