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Udall Statement On Vote For Stopgap Measure To Keep US Government Open

on December 22, 2017 - 5:52am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

  • Congress now must act in January to stop sequester, fund CHIP, and protect DREAMers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall voted for the continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded through Jan. 19, 2018. In addition to continuing federal funding into next year, the measure waives so-called PAYGO laws to prevent a $136 billion cut to Medicare, state mineral leasing payments, farm bill payments, and other critical funding in 2018.

Waiving PAYGO was necessary to offset massive budget cuts caused by President Trump and the Republicans’ tax cut, which will cost $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. Udall issued the following statement:

“New Mexicans are furious that Republicans and President Trump have spent the past year dead set on undermining working families by sabotaging health care, trying to defund Medicaid for millions of Americans, attacking our public lands, stacking the courts with unqualified and extreme judges, and passing a massive tax cut that benefits their billionaire campaign donors and corporations – and that even provides an unprecedented windfall for President Trump and his family. Trump and the Republicans have ended this year with health care for 9 million children at risk, funding for other crucial health programs lapsed, no action on the DREAM Act, and people in hurricane- and wildfire-ravaged states and territories still waiting for disaster aid.

“I have been fighting for months to reauthorize and fully fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program, community health centers, the Special Diabetes Program for Indians, and the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. I am angry and frustrated that Republicans chose to pursue tax cuts for billionaires while 800,000 young DREAMers feel that their world is crashing around them. It is unforgivable that people in Puerto Rico and other states and territories are still waiting for crucial aid. I will not stop fighting for health care and DREAMers and for the millions of Americans just trying to get by, who expect our leaders to work for all Americans, not the privileged few.

“The Republicans’ irresponsible and heartless failure to do their jobs at the expense of millions of Americans is inexcusable. But it’s also why I couldn’t vote to shut down the government and put at risk paychecks for the over 45,000 New Mexicans who work for the federal government, national labs and related contractors. A government shutdown would be a disaster for New Mexico.

“In addition to hurting federal workers and those who depend on the federal government for their livelihoods, it would put seniors, veterans and Tribal members at risk. It would potentially mean $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicare, funding for infrastructure and other priorities over 10 years, and – importantly for New Mexico – it would force a cut of over $450 million in state mineral leasing payments that our state depends on to fund schools. This country cannot afford to keep lurching from threat to threat, with Trump and Republicans holding the rest of the nation hostage. That isn’t fair to the New Mexicans I represent, who expect steady leadership and deserve thoughtful government.”