Rep. Beyer on End of Shutdown: ‘Why Did This Happen at All?’

Rep. Beyer speaking on Capitol Hill earlier this month. (Photo: Twitter @RepDonBeyer)

Today U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), who represents more federal employees than any other Member of the House of Representatives, issued the following statement after President Trump’s announcement that he would sign a temporary funding bill to end the partial government shutdown:

“I’m grateful that the shutdown will end soon, but I do not understand why it happened at all.

If I understood him correctly, President Trump just agreed to the same deal which Speaker Pelosi offered him in December. Had he done so, the President would have spared the country the longest shutdown in its history. Why did President Trump inflict this shutdown on the country?

“He could have spared 800,000 federal employees the suffering caused by missed paychecks, rent payments, medical procedures, and every other deprivation that came with 35 days of no pay. He could have spared the country the scenes of its public sector workers waiting in lines for food banks, airports shut down and tax returns jeopardized, national parks closed, and so many other essential services halted.

“This shutdown accomplished nothing. It inflicted extreme pain on the people I represent, and there was no reason for it. As the President approaches the new deadline he just agreed to for the expiration of government funding, he must think of people besides himself. This must never happen again.”