Shutdown Is ‘Extortion, Plain and Simple,’ Say 78 Groups

WASHINGTON, D.C. Jan. 23, 2019 – A coalition of 78 public interest organizations today sent a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and U.S. Senate Republicans demanding that they reopen the government immediately, amid a partial government shutdown that is harming families and communities all across the country as well as our environment and economy.

“We urge you, your Republican colleagues and President Trump to abandon the strategy of taking legislative hostages and harming ordinary people in our country to achieve policy goals opposed by a large majority of voters,” the letter reads. “This is extortion, plain and simple. It is outrageously undemocratic and a betrayal of the American people.”

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The letter calls on Senate Republicans to pass the legislation being voted on Thursday that extends funding for three weeks for all agencies closed or partially closed during the government shutdown, and excludes the extraneous requests demanded by President Donald Trump on immigration or funding for his proposed southern border wall.

The signatories to the letter include the Center for American Progress, the League of Conservation Voters, Public Citizen and The Wilderness Society.

The letter is dated the same day that a CBS News poll found that 71 percent of Americans do not believe the government should be shut down over the president’s demand for a border wall. The poll also found that about one in five Americans has been “personally impacted” by the cutback in services and programs affected by the shutdown.

Read the letter below, or here: https://www.citizen.org/jan-23-letter-mcconnell-senate-republicans-end-shutdown-0

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Jan. 23, 2019

Dear Majority Leader McConnell,

We, the undersigned organizations, ask that you bring to the U.S. Senate floor legislation that immediately reopens the federal government, extends funding for all agencies closed or partially closed during the government shutdown and excludes any of the extraneous requests demanded by President Donald Trump on immigration or funding for his proposed southern border wall.

We also urge you and members of your caucus to vote in favor of such legislation to end the partial shutdown that has disrupted the lives and livelihoods of 800,000 federal workers and contract workers around the country, their families and their communities – and inflicted tens of billions of dollars of damage on our environment and economy.

Furthermore, we urge you, your Republican colleagues and President Trump to abandon the strategy of taking legislative hostages that harm ordinary people in our country to achieve policy goals opposed by a large majority of voters. This is extortion, plain and simple. It is outrageously undemocratic and a betrayal of the American people.

Sincerely,

Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation
Alaska Wilderness League
Allied Progress
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Federation of Teachers
Center for American Progress
Center for Popular Democracy
Center for Progressive Reform
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Clean Water Action
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Communications Workers of America
Consumer Federation of America
Defenders of Wildlife
Demos
Earthjustice
Earthworks
Economic Policy Institute
Endangered Species Coalition
Environmental Working Group
First Person Politics
Food & Water Watch
Friends of the Earth
Greenpeace
Health Justice Innovations
Healthy Babies Healthy Families
Herd on the Hill
Hispanic Federation
Interfaith Worker Justice
Labor of Love Safety Training and Consulting
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
League of Conservation Voters
Los Padres ForestWatch
Main Street Alliance
Maine AFL-CIO
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Association of Consumer Advocates
National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low income clients)
National Consumers League
National Council of Jewish Women
National Employment Law Project
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Immigration Law Center
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women’s Law Center
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
New Jersey Association on Correction
New Progressive Alliance
Oxfam America
PAI
Partnership for Policy Integrity
Partnership for the Public Good
People For the American Way
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Pride Center of Staten Island, Inc.
Public Citizen
Public Justice Center
Rachel Carson Council
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United
Rhode Island Committee on Occupational Safety and Health
SafeWork Washington
Sciencecorps
Service Employees International Union
Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)
Sierra Club
Southern Border Communities Coalition
Truman National Security Project
UndocuBlack Network
United Steelworkers
United We Dream
Voices for Progress
The Wilderness Society
The Worker Institute at Cornell University’s ILR School
Workplace Fairness