Our Students: Testimonials
Award ceremony pictures from 2/27:
One of our students, concerned about the Government Shutdown, reached out to Senator Chris Murphy. Here is his reply:
Thank you for contacting me about the government shutdown. I appreciate your correspondence and hope that you find this response helpful.
We need to reopen the government immediately. This unnecessary and costly shutdown of a large portion of our federal government is hurting millions of Americans: not just the 800,000 federal workers who aren't getting paid, but the millions of people who depend on the federal government for everything from housing and nutrition assistance to ensuring that our airlines are safe and our ports of entry are protected. President Trump's decision to shut down several federal agencies over his demand for an unnecessary wall along our southern border is reckless, dangerous, and irresponsible. We can have a public policy debate about our border security needs, but it shouldn’t be done in the midst of a government shutdown that uses federal workers and our national security as hostages to achieve a political result.
Congress successfully passed bipartisan funding bills for a number of agencies last year—including the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Energy, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Energy, as well as the Legislative Branch—and they remain open and funded. However, the Departments of Homeland Security, State, Interior, Agriculture, Justice, Commerce, Transportation, Housing, and Treasury had to close when their funding lapsed on December 21, forcing more than 450,000 federal employees to work without pay, and more than 380,000 to be furloughed. Essential government services have been hobbled as food goes uninspected by the FDA, recipients of public housing are at risk of becoming homeless, and many Americans face the prospect of delayed tax refunds. Meanwhile, our Coast Guard, federal law enforcement officials, and air traffic control experts are forced to work without pay and with reduced resources to do the jobs we rely on them to do to keep us all safe.
That’s why I continue to call on my Republican colleagues to allow for a vote on bills to reopen the government, and end this manufactured crisis. In December, every senator—Republican and Democrat—voted unanimously to open the federal government, without funding for the border wall, but the Republican majority in the Senate now refuses to take up that bill or any of the bipartisan funding bills that the House of Representatives has since passed. I will continue to do all I can to end this shutdown, and I welcome a real debate over immigration and border security.
Thank you again for contacting me about this matter. I appreciate hearing from you and assure you that I will always do my best to represent the views of my constituents in the Senate. In the future, please do not hesitate to call me in my Connecticut office at (860) 549-8463 or in my Washington office at (202) 224-4041.
Every Best Wish,
Christopher S. Murphy
United States Senator