January 15, 2019

Cardin, Van Hollen, Kaine, and Warner to Trump: Hear Our Federal Employees

Senators Urge Trump to Meet Face-to-Face with Federal Workers

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) sent a letter to President Trump urging him to meet with federal workers suffering from the impacts of the shutdown.

The Senators write, “We are writing to ask that you meet with some of the federal civil servants who are either working without pay or locked out of their job as a result of the government shutdown. We believe that you would benefit from listening to their stories.”

They continue, “When asked about the situation facing federal workers, you said, ‘I can relate. I'm sure the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments. They always do.’ Some federal workers – like millions of Americans – live paycheck-to-paycheck. According to the Federal Reserve, 40% of Americans cannot pull together $400 for an emergency, without going into debt or selling something. Speaking with some of the workers who cannot afford to miss a paycheck may help you better relate to the adjustments you expect them to make for your shutdown.”

The Senators closed the letter stating, “You already met a few carefully handpicked federal workers who support your position of shutting down the government to demand taxpayer dollars for a border wall. But the vast majority of federal workers oppose your shutdown, and we hope you will listen to them as well. Most of all, we hope that you will swiftly end this unnecessary and damaging shutdown.”

The full text of the letter is available here and below.

Dear President Trump:

We are writing to ask that you meet with some of the federal civil servants who are either working without pay or locked out of their job as a result of the government shutdown. We believe that you would benefit from listening to their stories.

You have said that you are, “proud to shut down the government.” Earlier, you tweeted about the need for a “good shutdown.” We have spoken to federal workers who will not be able to afford to keep their home, purchase their medication, or put money in their child’s school lunch account if this shutdown continues. These civil servants are proud of their jobs, and this government shutdown is preventing them from doing important work for the American people. If you heard directly from them, it would be clear that there is no such thing as a good government shutdown.

When asked about the situation facing federal workers, you said, “I can relate. I'm sure the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments. They always do.” Some federal workers – like millions of Americans – live paycheck-to-paycheck. According to the Federal Reserve, 40% of Americans cannot pull together $400 for an emergency, without going into debt or selling something. Speaking with some of the workers who cannot afford to miss a paycheck may help you better relate to the adjustments you expect them to make for your shutdown.

You already met a few carefully handpicked federal workers who support your position of shutting down the government to demand taxpayer dollars for a border wall. But the vast majority of federal workers oppose your shutdown, and we hope you will listen to them as well. Most of all, we hope that you will swiftly end this unnecessary and damaging shutdown.

Sincerely,

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