Pence, Lujan Grisham react to government shutdown | KOB 4
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Pence, Lujan Grisham react to government shutdown

KOB.com Web Staff
January 20, 2018 07:15 PM

WASHINGTON D.C. – The government shutdown came one year to the day since President Donald Trump took the oath of office.

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The Senate failed to reach the 60-vote threshold required to keep government open.

Vice President Mike Pence shared his thoughts on the shutdown; he was traveling to the Middle East when he received the news from his chief of staff.

"Democrats in the Senate, with a few exceptions on either side, chose to put politics ahead of our national defense, put politics ahead of meeting obligations of our national government, and it's unacceptable," he said. "It's disappointing to millions of Americans."

Pence is traveling to Egypt, Jordan and Israel to discuss moving the U.S. Embassy there.

New Mexico Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, meanwhile, blasted Trump in a statement responding to the shutdown:

“The Trump Administration’s incompetence, ignorance, and lack of leadership has repeatedly prevented good, bi-partisan ideas from receiving consideration in Congress, undermined the democratic process, and has directly led to gridlock.  But Trump hasn’t acted alone. House Republican extremists and the Republican Freedom Caucus have created a partisan, closed environment that has undermined any opportunity to pass legislation with bipartisan support.

In Trump’s first year, these Republicans have attempted to kick off 25 million Americans from health insurance, needlessly ended DACA, and killed several bi-partisan deals that have been negotiated to fix pressing problems.  Meanwhile, urgent issues that have broad consensus in Congress have been ignored.  Members on both sides know that military readiness has waned, employer plans for 10 million worker pensions are at risk of insolvency, the Children’s Health Insurance Program has lapsed; community health centers are underfunded; thousands continue to die from the opioid epidemic; Dreamers continue to fear detention and deportation; and countless Americans remain without power in Puerto Rico.

Further, the most basic responsibility of government—passing a budget—has been neglected for an entire year.  The repeated use of continuing resolution funding bills undermines all of these priorities along with our ability to care for veterans, make investments in the economy, and strengthen our military.  The Trump Administration’s own officials agree.

Last year, Defense Secretary General Mattis told Congress that:

'Long-term continuing resolutions impact the readiness of our forces and their equipment at a time when security threats are extraordinarily high.  The longer the continuing resolution, the greater the consequences for our forces.'

The American people are frustrated at the dysfunction, and I am frustrated as well. All these issues have broad bi-partisan support not only among the American people, but in Congress as well.  I know that I won’t receive everything I want in a final deal and that my Republican colleagues won’t receive everything they want, but that is the burden of responsible governing.  Let’s work together, resolve issues that we almost all agree on, and get this done on behalf of the American people.”  

Watch the above video for more from NBC's Kasie Hunt.  

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