Sara Lonardo,

Issued January 20, 2018

SEIU’s Henry: Congress must respect the priorities of working people, reopen the government immediately

WASHINGTON - SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement on the federal government shutdown:

“Americans spent 2017 protesting, marching and pushing Congress to ensure affordable healthcare, keep immigrant families together, create more good union jobs and provide relief to communities torn apart by natural disasters. Instead of working on behalf of their constituents, Republicans in Congress chose to continue attacks on Medicaid and pass a reckless tax bill that rewards wealthy corporations and millionaires at the expense of working families.

“Congress must respect the priorities of working people and reopen the federal government immediately. Every day over 100 Dreamers lose protection from deportation, millions of Puerto Ricans and Virgin Islanders remain without power and our nation’s children lose access to vital health services.

“This is not an abstract debate. Real lives are at stake, like that of an incredible young woman named Yamilex. She fled here with her sister from Guatemala after their father was murdered and home was no longer a safe place. Their mom works hard as a janitor, and Yamilex is in school and an active part of her community. The United States is her home and she is exactly the type of person we should want in our country.

“Republicans who control the White House and Capitol Hill must stop lurching from self-imposed crisis to self-imposed crisis. It’s time to govern responsibly by passing a bill that reinvests in vital services, puts Americans back to work and includes the DREAM Act without funding a divisive border wall.  SEIU members are telling Republicans in Congress to stop jeopardizing the lives of millions of working families and do its job.  If they fail to do so we will elect people to replace them who will champion the issues that impact working families and stand shoulder to shoulder with us in 2018, 2020 and beyond.”