FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2018

‘Congress and the Administration Failed the American People,’ Says Largest Federal Union

AFGE calls partial government shutdown a ‘dereliction of duty’ that robs American taxpayers 

WASHINGTON – As the federal government begins a partial shutdown, the third shutdown this year, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement:

“Today, Congress and the administration failed the American people when they decided to put partisan politics over country – and sadly we have a president that is ‘proud’ to have made it happen. We elected these leaders to do their job and keep our government open, but now 40 percent of the federal workforce will go without a paycheck for as long as this stalemate lasts.

“The failure to fund the government’s operation is shameful, unacceptable, and a completely avoidable waste of taxpayer dollars. The 2013 shutdown alone took $24 billion out of the U.S. economy and reduced projected fourth-quarter GDP growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent – and yet this president has the gall to call his shutdowns ‘a very small price to pay.’

“This is a dereliction of duty by Congress and the president, and it is forcing the men and women who safeguard our country to work for free – while hundreds of thousands more get sent home without pay. Many federal workers – like TSA Officers, Border Patrol Agents, and Correctional Officers – must continue to put their lives on the line while their paychecks are on hold, hoping that eventually they will be compensated for their time after the shutdown ends.

“This shutdown hurts everyone. From the taxpayer who tries to visit a national park, to the federal worker who can’t earn a living – and since 85 percent of federal employees live outside the Washington, D.C. area, it will resonate nationwide.

“Congress must immediately fund and reopen the government and stop holding the people’s government hostage.”

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