January 14, 2019
Press Release

Chicago, IL—Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), joined Members of Congress from the Illinois Delegation and representatives of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association this morning at O’Hare International Airport for a press conference to call President Trump to end the government shutdown. Members in attendance included Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthy (IL-08), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05), and Rep. Sean Casten (IL-06).

Below are Congressman García’s prepared remarks:

“Each day the shutdown continues, the American people suffer. Instead of playing political games, this President and Sen. Mitch McConnell must recognize that for the average, hard-working American, the government shutdown is a lose-lose situation and families are suffering. We must open the government immediately.

That’s why I am proud that my fellow colleagues from the Chicago congressional delegation have already voted five times to open parts of or all the federal government. Keeping our government running should not be premised on whether or not we build an ineffective and inhumane border wall.

We can and should, both open the government immediately and work on viable solutions for immigration reform and border security. They are not mutually exclusive.

Federal employees, their families, and the critical services they provide to millions of Americans should not be held hostage or used as ransom to build a border wall.

More than 7,500 of the almost 100,000 federal employees who work in Illinois, are currently being furloughed or working without pay. According to the Federal Reserve, about 930,000 Cook County residents receive some form of federal food assistance and could see their benefits reduced. Right now, the IRS is operating with only 12% of its workforce, threatening the agency’s ability to process and disburse tax refunds in a timely manner. 

That’s why 51 of my colleagues in Congress joined me in sending a letter to the Administration urging the President to end the shutdown and ensure families get their tax refunds. Sending more IRS workers back to work without pay is neither fair, nor a sustainable solution.

This shutdown is a lose-lose situation for the American people. We must open the government immediately and end this shutdown.

The Senate must take up the House-passed legislation to fund the government and we should get on with the People’s business to provide good jobs, healthcare, and education to every American. We ought to set aside political differences and reopen the government without delay.”