Rep. Johnson’s statement on The Trump Shutdown
DECATUR, GA – Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) released the following statement today after for the 1st time in modern history the party in control of House, Senate & White House shuts down government:
“Republicans hold the majorities in both the House and Senate, and they have a strongman in the White House. Just as they passed the Trump tax cut without a single Democratic vote, they have had the power to pass a government spending bill without a single Democratic vote.
“In fact, Republicans in Congress had the responsibility to pass a spending bill before the 2018 fiscal year began on October 1, 2017. Rather than fund the federal government for a full year, Congress passed a CR (continuing resolution), funding government at 2017 levels for 90 days.
“Republicans squandered that 90 days. Instead of working on a spending deal, they spent the entire time working on tax cuts for corporations and the top 1 percent.
“When the CR ended, Republicans passed two more short-term CRs to keep the government open, which brings us to today.
“Already, a third of the fiscal year has passed and for the first time in U.S. history one party controls the House, Senate and the presidency and the nation is faced with a shutdown of government due to lack of funds. How can Republicans beat their chests for passing the Trump tax cuts while failing to fulfill their basic responsibility to fund our military and provide for the nation’s security?
“How can they pat themselves on back when they have failed to fund Social Security and Medicare for our seniors, Medicaid for those in need, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program? How can President Trump claim to be strong, competent and engaged when he has spent more time tweeting inconsistencies rather than leading the effort to forge an agreement to fund the government? This failure by Congress and the President does not make America great. In fact, it is hurting America.
“I know that Americans want to see Democrats and Republicans in Congress work together to keep America safe and prosperous, and that is what I want to accomplish. However, Republicans refuse to work with Democrats to find common ground. House Republicans continue to apply the so-called “Hastert Rule”, which forbids Speaker Ryan from bringing any bill to the floor for a vote unless it can be passed with a Republican majority. With the Hastert Rule in place, and with House Republicans being unable to agree among themselves on a long-term spending bill, prospects for passage of a bill to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year look bleak. Moreover, Senate Republicans have been unwilling and unable to reach a bipartisan agreement with Democrats to fund the government. President Trump has sent conflicting signals from the sidelines, and this is why we face a government shutdown.
“I voted to remain at work in Washington until Congress can come to a bipartisan agreement. It is my hope that Republicans who control the outcome of this crisis will come to their senses and give bipartisanship a chance to work.”