Alexander: Shutting Down the Government Should Never Be a Bargaining Chip

Posted on January 20, 2018

WASHINGTON, January 20, 2018 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today urged Senate Democrats to reopen the government.

“Shutting down the government of the United States of America should never ever be a bargaining chip for any issue. Period. It should be to governing as chemical warfare is to real warfare,” Alexander said in remarks to his colleagues on the Senate floor.  “It should be banned.”  

“More than 50 senators last night, including almost all Republicans and 5 Democrats, voted to keep the government open. The president has said he would sign the continuing resolution to keep the government open. The Democrats are closing down the government because they want a result on an important issue, and they want it now.”

He urged Democrats to support reopening the government. “The American people sent us here to make the government work for them, not to shut it down,” Alexander said. “That should be unthinkable. That should be like chemical warfare. We should never even consider that. So I urge my friends on the other side, let Senator McConnell and Senator Schumer—who are veteran senators, they respect this institution, they're friends with all of us, they're able to make a decision—let them sit down themselves and find an agreement to get this government back open. Let's go to work on the two-year budget agreement, the children's health insurance program, on lowering the cost of health insurance for people buying insurance in the individual market, on the DACA bill and on disaster relief. Let's get that done in a very short period of time.”

Click here to watch the senator’s full remarks.

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