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Virginia Democrats Vote to Reopen the Government; Virginia Republicans Vote to Keep It Closed

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Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reopen the government, by a 241-190 margin. Given Virginia’s huge federal employee and federal contractor population, you’d think it would be a no-brainer for every member of the Virginia delegation to have voted “yea.” But…”nay.” Instead, what we saw was Virginia House Democrats (see statements, below) voting to reopen the government, while Virginia House Republicans – Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA01), Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA05), Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA06), Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA09) unanimously voted to keep it closed. So yeah, that’s what you’re voting for when you vote Democratic – a functioning government and country – and that’s what you’re voting for when you vote Republican – trash piling up in our national parks, the Smithsonian museums closed, federal workers filing for unemployment, etc. And why are Republicans keeping the government shut, even after the Senate voted unanimously on December 22 to keep it open??? Because, very simply, Trump threw a temper tantrum over his idiotic “wall,” and spineless Republicans in Congress – a coequal branch of government, last I checked the constitution – caved. That pretty much tells you all you need to know about these people…

With that, here are a few statements, including from Virginia’s new Congresswomen – Jennifer Wexton, Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria. Congratulations to all three, by the way, on being sworn in yesterday!

 

From Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA10)’s office:

Wexton Votes to Reopen the Federal Government

President’s shutdown puts federal workers and regional economy at risk

WASHINGTON, DC  — Congresswoman-elect Jennifer Wexton (VA-10) released the following statement after voting to reopen the government on her first day in Congress:

“Federal workers, contractors, and their families deserve to be relieved from the immoral shutdown thrust upon them by the President and Congressional Republicans. The package we passed today to end the Trump shutdown is nearly identical to legislation passed unanimously by the Republican-controlled Senate just a few weeks ago, and provides a clear path forward to reopen the government. This shutdown has hit our local economy and VA-10 families hard.

Today, our votes to eliminate the Holman Rule and to end the shutdown show that House Democrats will protect our civil servants and their families. That’s what we were elected to do and that’s what we delivered tonight.

It’s time to stop using our federal workers as political pawns.”

From Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA02)’s office:

Congresswoman Elaine Luria Votes to Reopen Government

WASHINGTON – In one of her first votes on the House Floor, Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) supported legislation that would reopen government and end the shutdown. At 13 days, the shutdown is the longest since the 16-day shutdown of 2013, affecting 800,000 federal workers and their families.

“I’m proud that House Democrats wasted no time presenting solutions to Coastal Virginians and all Americans,” Congresswoman Luria said. “Senate Republicans should join us in support of this measure so we can reopen government and turn our focus to the problems that Americans elected us to solve.”

From Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07)’s office:

Spanberger Votes to End Partial Government Shutdown, Restore Pay for Federal Employees

Legislation Includes Bipartisan Bill Congresswoman Helped Introduce to Retroactively Pay Impacted Federal Employees

Earlier this Week, Spanberger Requested that her Congressional Salary be Withheld Until the Shutdown Ends

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today voted with a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass legislation that would end the ongoing partial government shutdown, provide funding to stabilize critical departments and agencies, and give much-needed certainty to federal employees and their families.

Since December 22, 2018, funding for nine federal departments has been on hold, affecting approximately one-third of the federal workforce. The funding package passed today by the U.S. House would address this lapse in funding by providing critical resources for national security, agriculture, economic and rural development, and affordable housing programs and their employees. Additionally, the package includes bipartisan legislation Spanberger helped introduce to retroactively pay federal employees impacted by the shutdown.

“Over the past two weeks, the government shutdown has recklessly harmed our economy, threatened our national security, and kept vital federal workers at home or working without pay,” said Spanberger. “Today, I joined my colleagues in passing legislation that addresses our country’s immediate budgetary needs and funds agencies vital to our security such as the FBI, TSA, and CBP. While this legislation is a necessary first step towards fully reopening our government, it is only a temporary fix and we—both Congress and the American people—cannot continue to view short-term funding bills and shutdowns as acceptable methods of managing our nation’s finances. It is inefficient, chaotic, and damaging. In the future, Congress must do its job and pass real budgets, plan for our nation’s financial future, and never use the federal workforce or the proper functioning of government services as a bargaining chip.”

Today, Spanberger was sworn into the 116th U.S. Congress, where she represents Virginia’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Earlier this week, then-Rep.-Elect Spanberger sent a letter requesting that her Congressional salary be withheld until the government fully reopens and all federal employee pay is restored. Click here to read her full letter.

The funding legislation passed by the U.S. House today would fully fund most of the federal government through September 30, 2019. The bill maintains current funding levels for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through February 8, 2019.

From Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA04)

WASHINGTON – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) issued this statement following his votes to end President Trump’s partial government shutdown:

“I voted in support of legislation to end this irresponsible government shutdown and resume operations for the American people. Instead of idled and unpaid workers, fewer services, lost revenue and an antiquated wall for border security, this legislation will ensure a functioning government while continuing current, useful efforts to secure our borders.

“President Trump’s insistent and stubborn demand for a physical wall along our southern border has brought government and its services to a complete stop and imposes needless costs on the American people. These bills will reasonably fund border security and have already earned bipartisan support in the Senate. The time to move forward is now. The American people and federal employees have been held hostage by this useless shutdown long enough.”