Sara Lonardo, 202-730-7332

Issued December 20, 2019

SEIU’s Mary Kay Henry statement on the cost of political brinkmanship to working families

WASHINGTON, DC – Service Employees International Union International President Mary Kay Henry released the following statement today after President Trump signed legislation funding the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year:

“SEIU members, other government employees and contractors, and many more across America can breathe a sigh of relief that their paychecks and the vital services they depend on, like food, heat, housing and healthcare, will not be held hostage for a wasteful and divisive border wall this year. But it never should have gotten to this point. Working people, who are still recovering from last year’s shutdown, should never have had to once again wonder in the middle of the holiday season if they would continue to be pawns in a political game. The House of Representatives passed bills funding the government months ago, but they have languished in the Senate, which refused to take action. Unfortunately, this is the case for other legislation that would improve the lives of working people, from raising the minimum wage to making healthcare more affordable and accessible.

“Instead the Trump administration and their congressional allies continue to prioritize an extremist agenda that seeks to divide us on race and ethnicity, rather than uniting our communities. Although this funding bill withholds the dramatic increases President Trump sought for his wasteful and divisive border wall and immoral immigration policies, it allows his administration to steal money from military families and other priorities for working people in service of his politically-motivated wish list. 

“Working people of all races and ethnicities, including SEIU members and Fight for $15 and a Union leaders, want elected officials to unite us as a country and make it easier for everyone to get ahead. We will continue standing up, making our voices heard and holding politicians accountable until any working people can join a union, no matter where we work, to bargain for better jobs and a better life. ”