WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released a statement following his vote to end the partial government shutdown and re-open the government:
“Today, the Senate had an opportunity to do exactly what my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have repeatedly called for: re-open the government, allow federal workers to receive their long overdue paychecks and then have a serious conversation about smart border security measures and immigration reforms. The bill that would have allowed us to do that was nearly identical to the bill that passed the Senate unanimously – with every Republican and every Democrat supporting it – just five weeks ago. This was an easy yes. The bill would bring much-needed relief to the federal workers who serve and protect our country every day. I was eager to vote for this common sense measure. I am disappointed that, for whatever reason, more of my colleagues did not feel the same way.
“Many of my colleagues and I have been steeped in border security issues for years, and we have had success finding areas of agreement in the past. That’s why I know we can do it again. But the President cannot continue to hold American workers, their families and their paychecks hostage in the meantime.
“Last month, President Trump said that he was ‘proud’ to shut down our government in the name of border security. But the reality is that, with each passing day, the risks posed to our national security are growing. Earlier today, five former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretaries – from both Republican and Democratic administrations – described the President’s decision to let the impasse continue without paying the brave men and women charged with protecting our nation as ‘unconscionable.’ Earlier this week, the FBI released a report highlighting all of the ways the shutdown is hindering the agency’s ability to ‘protect and serve the American people.’ Yesterday, the President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association issued a stark warning to air passengers that pilots, attendants and air traffic controllers ‘cannot even calculate the level of risk’ for passengers. By choosing to keep our government closed, the President is actually manufacturing a serious national security crisis, not to mention inflicting unnecessary harm on hundreds of thousands of families who are going without pay through no fault of their own.
“Despite today’s disappointing outcome, we know that there is bipartisan support for a smart solution that ends this senseless shutdown. In recent days, I have had productive, bipartisan conversations. I remain optimistic that this is the beginning of the end of this shutdown and that we can find a way forward in the near term.”