January 08, 2019

Kilmer Speech on Federal Government Shutdown

Tonight, Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) delivered a speech from the House floor on the effects of the federal government shutdown.

Audio and video of the remarks are available here.

Kilmer’s remarks were as follows: 

Thank you Madam Speaker,

 Yesterday, I met with a group of federal workers in Tacoma to discuss the impacts of this government shutdown.

One of the folks there was a prison guard.  She told me that without her paycheck she is worried because she doesn’t know if she can pay for childcare and also for the prescriptions she needs after successfully fighting cancer last year.

Because of this shutdown, that’s the conversation unfolding across 800,000 kitchen tables as federal workers try to figure out how to scrape together mortgage payments and car payments and rent payments – trying to make do without a paycheck.

 This crisis doesn’t just impact federal workers.  It hurts entire communities.

It hurts the economy around Olympic National Park – hotels and restaurants - when people cancel their visits because of the shutdown.

 it affects college students and prospective homebuyers and small business owners who won’t have access to federal loans because of the shutdown.

 Madam Speaker, while we can have a legitimate discussion about immigration reform, America doesn’t need a wall—a 5th Century answer to a 21st Century challenge.

 America needs a government that is open. 

 The Senate and the President can and should make that happen right now.