WASHINGTON — 92 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus urged Speaker Kevin McCarthy today to do his job, join his House Democratic colleagues and a bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate, keep to the deal he struck with President Biden, and pass a government funding bill to avoid a shutdown.
The new letter comes just 10 days before House Republicans’ infighting and inability to govern threatens to shut down the government. The House majority has only been able to pass one of the 12 funding appropriations bills required to keep the federal government functioning on October 1, despite the “inclusion of extreme policy riders and draconian spending cuts designed to accommodate the far-right faction of your conference,” write the lawmakers.
Speaker McCarthy’s abject failure to ensure his House majority governs is also a failure in meeting the obligations of the deal he himself negotiated with President Biden in May. That deal became law; Republicans’ attempt to undercut the deal with lower spending levels or the inclusion of “poison-pill policy riders” guarantees a government shutdown.
The members outline the catastrophic impact of those cuts, should they become law: “Republican-written House appropriations bills would impose an $800 million cut to food benefits for low- income mothers and children, kick 224,000 teachers from classrooms, and eliminate access to early childhood education for 51,000 children in Head Start, all while limiting access to abortion.”
Progressives also warn that House Republicans’ dysfunction will cause immediate and widespread harm to the American people. “A government shutdown will impact the very things families desperately need: the risk of running out of SNAP and TANF benefits, limited access to beneficiary assistance for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, curtailed food and environmental safety inspections, weakened disease surveillance, treatment and prevention efforts, and the potential of no back pay for low-wage federal contract workers,” the lawmakers write.
As lawmakers emphasize: “[I]f you choose not to pass a bipartisan government funding bill consistent with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, you are deliberately choosing to shut down the government.”
The full letter can be read here.
Signatories of the letter include: Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Greg Casar (TX-35), Alma S. Adams, Ph.D (NC-12), Becca Balint (VT-AL), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D (NY-16), Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Shontel Brown (OH-11), André Carson (IN-7), Troy A. Carter, Sr. (LA-02), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Judy Chu (CA-28), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Chris Deluzio (PA-17), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Debbie Dingell (MI-06), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Valerie Foushee (NC-4), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Maxwell Alejandro Frost (FL-10), Ruben Gallego (AZ-03), John Garamendi (CA-08), Jesús G. "Chuy" García (IL-04), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Daniel Goldman (NY-10), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Val Hoyle (OR-04), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Jonathan Jackson (IL-01), Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Summer Lee (PA-12), Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03), Mike Levin (CA-49), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Jennifer McClellan (VA-04), Morgan McGarvey (KY-03), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Kweisi Mfume (MD-07), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Joe Neguse (CO-02), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-at large), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6), Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Katie Porter (CA-45), Delia Ramirez (IL-3), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Andrea Salinas (OR-6), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-5), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Brad Sherman (CA-32), Adam Smith (WA-09), Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), Mark Takano (CA-41), Shri Thanedar (MI-13), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Jill Tokuda (HI-02), Paul D. Tonko (NY-20), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Lori Trahan (MA-03), Juan Vargas (CA-52), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24).