Washington, D.C. – Last week, California Senator Kamala Harris spoke on the Senate floor and challenged her colleagues to immediately take up legislation to put an end to the government shutdown and put federal employees in California and across the country back to work.
“The real obstacle to ending this shutdown is in the White House. The President is holding the American people hostage over his vanity project on the southern border—and he’s peddling his usual propaganda to distract from a crisis of his own making,” she stressed.
During her comments, Harris shared the story of a constituent named Trisha. Trisha and her husband are both air traffic controllers with nearly 40 years of federal service combined. Trisha’s husband also served in the Navy.
“He now has to work long hours of overtime to compensate for the workers who are absent because they’ve been furloughed. And he’s not being paid,” Harris explained adding, “Trisha’s job was deemed non-essential, so she’s also not being paid. “
Harris highlighted the importance of being clear about how the country “got into this mess.”
She reminded her colleagues the Senate unanimously passed a bill to open the government right before the holidays. The vote was 100-0. “There was such jubilance on this floor that literally members of the United States Senate were singing Christmas carols,” she recalled.
Although the president initially agreed to sign the legislation he backed away from his promise after conservative media personalities accused him of caving on the “Wall” by agreeing to a bill without securing the funding needed for his pet project—a campaign promise he made to his supporters.
Recently, under Democratic leadership, the House legislation to reopen the government, “They sent six bills over to the United States Senate,” she stated.
Senate Leader Republican Mitch McConnel has failed to bring these bills to the Senate floor for a vote.
“This body needs to hold a vote on that legislation and send it to the President and ask him to sign it. Because the real obstacle to ending this shutdown is in the White House,” Harris declared.
According to Harris, the President is continuing “to hold the American people hostage over his vanity project on the southern border—and he’s peddling his usual propaganda to distract from a crisis of his own making.”