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Foster Statement on Unnecessary Government Shutdown

Jan 20, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) issued the following statement on the government shutdown:

“This shutdown is entirely unnecessary and counterproductive to the mission to which we are charged as Members of Congress. At any time last year, Republican leadership could have negotiated a long-term budget deal, a solution for DREAMers, and an extension of CHIP funding to avoid this reckless brinkmanship.

Instead of negotiating in good faith and finding a way to responsibly pass a budget, President Trump and the Republican controlled Congress has taken us to the brink four times. This time, however, they fell off the cliff. This shutdown will have adverse effects on our economy that could easily have been prevented if Republicans would have used their power to govern responsibly.

I remain ready and willing to work with Republicans to pass a budget that is more than another temporary patch and reflects the principles that the public supports. It is difficult to understand why a single party that controls the House, the Senate, and the executive branch cannot do the job they were elected to do. I plan to stay in Washington as long as it takes to perform the duties my constituents expect of me.”

The economic damage from Republican dysfunction has been enormous. In 2013, the Office of Management and Budget estimated that the Republican shutdown caused a reduction in quarterly GDP between 0.2 and 0.6 percent. Standard and Poor’s estimates that a shutdown costs the economy an estimated $6.5 billion per week and adds to the national debt.

The short-term continuing resolutions from the Republican controlled Congress have also damaged our military. Earlier this week, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Richard Spencer said the string of continuing resolutions that have occurred under Republican leadership “has cost us $4 billion dollars . . . that’s $4 billion dollars in cash in a trash can with lighter fluid – burn it.  And that is what the impact has been, looking back, in a totally quantitative basis.”