As of midnight, October 1, the Republican led U.S. House of Representatives has shut down the federal government, despite the fact that America’s working families overwhelmingly disapprove of their tactics. In a CBS/New York Times poll last week, 80% of respondents said that it would be unacceptable for lawmakers to threaten a shutdown to achieve their goals, yet that’s exactly what Republicans are doing.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, “As of today, it is clear that the Republican Party and the Tea Party have become one and the same when it comes to federal fiscal policy. House Republicans have decided that they will shut down critical public services, stiff public servants, hold America’s credit rating hostage and kill off jobs because they are upset that President Obama decisively defeated Mitt Romney last November. That some Republicans are participating in this fiasco against their better judgment does not obscure their responsibility. All responsible voices must speak and act against policy making by hostage taking. We stand with President Obama as he rejects unequivocally all Republican hostage taking. And we agree with the president that it would be a disastrous precedent for our democracy if we have any negotiations over the debt ceiling. ”
This government lockout will inflict serious pain on everyday working people:
- If the shutdown lasts more than 10 days, more than 2 million military service members could see their pay delayed.
- Nearly 9 million pregnant women, recent mothers, and young children could lose clinical services and food benefits.
- Educational, compensation, and pension benefits for hundreds of thousands of veterans could be delayed.
- Applications for new Social Security benefits would be delayed and services for seniors significantly delayedas workers are furloughed.
- If the government is shut down for the same length of time as it was in the mid-1990s, the cost for taxpayers would be about $2 billion.
Contact your U.S. Representative today and tell them “we can’t waste any time–we need to get the country up and running again.”
If you don’t know who your congressperson is go to:
UFCW Local 1546 represents workers in Illinois and Indiana in a diverse range of industries including grocery and drug retailers; meat cutting, processing, and packing; chemical works; nursing home and healthcare facilities, and many others.