WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) issued the following statement following the failed cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S. 1. Earlier in the day, he had written to all of his Democratic colleagues, urging them to vote against cloture on S. 1, arguing that that “the first vote we take this year should be to end the government shutdown.”
Senator Cardin: “We are in a crisis. Essential government services all Americans depend on are being delayed, curtailed or degraded. Nine of 15 federal departments are affected. The current shutdown of the federal government is hurting Americans across the country, especially the 800,000 men and women who have been forced to work without knowing when their next paycheck will come or are being locked out of their jobs, not knowing when they can get back to doing their work on behalf of the American people.
“I appreciate my colleagues joining together with us to send a message to Leader McConnell and President Trump that reopening the federal government should be the first order of business we tackle in this new, 116th Congress. The logical thing to do now is for the Senate to take up and pass the six appropriations bills sent over by the House of Representatives.
“This should not be a heavy lift. Last month, the Senate voted unanimously to keep the government open to February 8, 2019. Last year, the Senate voted 92-6 to pass four of the seven outstanding appropriations bills. The Senate Appropriations committee reported two of the other three by votes of 31-0 and 30-1, respectively. After passing the appropriations “minibus,” the Senate should pass a continuing resolution to fund the Department of Homeland Security while we have substantive, fact-based negotiations over what resources are needed to secure our borders and reform our immigration system.”