Alabama’s congressional delegation reacts to looming federal government shutdown

A government shutdown is increasingly likely, and the effects could be far-reaching. (CNN)
A government shutdown is increasingly likely, and the effects could be far-reaching. (CNN)
Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 6:02 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The U.S. government is just days away from a potential shutdown and that potential is starting to look likely. A shutdown means the potential furlough of millions of federal employees, leaving the military without pay, disrupting air travel, and cutting off vital safety net services.

Strong political differences may interfere with all of that. A continuing resolution supported by Democrats would maintain funding at current levels. It would also include $6 billion in funding for Ukraine and $6 billion for U.S. disaster relief.

Alabama’s only Democratic member in Congress, Rep. Terri Sewell, D-District 7, said in a statement, Alabama families shouldn’t be forced to pay the price for House Republicans’ inability to govern. A Republican government shutdown would force troops to work without pay, harm small businesses, risk air travel disruptions, and endanger access to food assistance for families. It is unconscionable that House Republicans would hurt working families, damage our economy, and endanger our national security.”

She says a government shutdown means more than $800,000 Alabamians will temporarily lose their food benefits like SNAP or WIC.

Republicans want a package of bills that will more drastically cut federal spending.

“If we continue the path we’re going next year, we will spend more money, more money on interest on borrowed money, on interest than we take in. Now, no business can operate that way,” said Rep. Jerry Carl, R-District 1.

In a statement, Congressman Barry Moore, R-District 2, said House Republicans are ready to tackle Biden’s out-of-control spending that threatens the security of our country, but no one ever said the legislative process was easy. We will be here working as long as it takes to cut a deal that helps American families keep more money in their wallets.”

Congressman Robert Aderholt, R-District 4, echoed that statement saying, “It is all very fluid right now. The goal is to get all 12 bills done and cut spending in a meaningful way. While the process may not always be pretty, it’s the fight that matters. We’re fighting to turn this ship and get the government back under control.”

And Alabama’s two U.S. senators, both Republicans, also point out the need for heightened security at the U.S. and Mexico border.

“I want to keep the government open and shut down the border,” said Sen. Katie Britt, “but Democrats seemingly want to keep the border open, even at the expense of shutting down the government. I continue to push for a commonsense solution that avoids a costly government shutdown while putting the needs of hardworking Americans first. The Senate should immediately pass the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act, so taxpayers aren’t forced to pay the price for budgetary brinksmanship.”

“There are people dying, and fentanyl is coming across the border. This is maybe one of the biggest disasters in all of our lifetimes for this country,” added Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who has cosponsored The Prevent Government Shutdowns Act, which would require all members of Congress to stay in Washington, stop votes on other matters, and halt congressional paychecks until spending bills are completed.

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