Blue Dogs Urge Bipartisan, Bicameral Summit to End Government Shutdown
Coalition sends letter to House, Senate leadership demanding end to political brinksmanship

January 23, 2019 by TWN Staff
On Tuesday, the Blue Dog Coalition of fiscally responsible House Democrats announced its new leadership team as their party is poised to retake the gavel in the 116th Congress.

On Wednesday, members of the Blue Dog Coalition sent a stern message to leadership of both parties in the House and Senate – exercise your constitutional authority to reopen the government. The Blue Dogs, many of whom represent right-leaning districts across the country, are seemingly fed up with inaction on the part of Congress and the White House and are demanding action.

The Blue Dogs wrote, “Our constituents sent us to Congress to put an end to political games and to find bipartisan solutions that move this country forward. Our current political stalemate is punishing families, destabilizing our economy, weakening our national security, and embarrassing our great country on the world stage. As of today, the House has voted ten times to reopen the government, and the Senate has refused to take up any of those bills. Both parties must come together to end the brinkmanship and reopen the government, and then follow up with a long-term, bipartisan solution that ensures strong, effective border security.”

The cost of the federal government shutdown, which at over a month is the longest in American history, is now equal to the cost of an average hurricane – about $26 billion. The Blue Dogs have a long history of promoting fiscally responsible policies, recently insisting that pay-as-you-go rules be included in the broader rules package in the House of Representatives.

The letter was signed by all members of Blue Dog Coalition leadership, Reps. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Lou Correa (CA-46), and Anthony Brindisi (NY-22). In addition to leadership, the following members signed the letter: Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), Rep. Charlie Crist (FL-13), Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01), Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Rep. Daniel Lipinski (IL-03), Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-04), Rep. Max Rose (NY-11), Rep. David Scott (GA-13), Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10), Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02), and Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02).

Following is the full text of the letter.

 

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Hoyer, Leader McCarthy, Leader McConnell, and Leader Schumer:

Our constituents sent us to Congress to put an end to political games and to find bipartisan solutions that move this country forward. Our current political stalemate is punishing families, destabilizing our economy, weakening our national security, and embarrassing our great country on the world stage. As of today, the House has voted ten times to reopen the government, and the Senate has refused to take up any of those bills. Both parties must come together to end the brinkmanship and reopen the government, and then follow up with a long-term, bipartisan solution that ensures strong, effective border security.

The American people want to see their leaders talking to one another rather than at one another through the press. In an era of divided government, the reality is that only a bipartisan solution will reopen the government, and that requires the leadership of both parties to come together. We therefore urge you to hold a bipartisan, bicameral summit that brings together House and Senate leaders to hold a substantive, transparent discussion on a path forward to reopen the government. That discussion should be designed to produce legislation that will quickly pass both chambers of Congress.

While the President indeed has the ability to veto that legislation, Congress also has the ability to override that veto. The legislative branch should be prepared to exercise its constitutional authority to reopen the government.

We came to Congress to represent our constituents—and they are demanding action. We can and should respond accordingly. 

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