(WASHINGTON, DC.)–Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) issued the following statement in response to the third partial federal government shutdown of 2018, which took effect at 12:00 a.m. on December 22:  

“The partial government shutdown is a deliberate and premeditated act of shocking irresponsibility and petulance by President Donald Trump and his willing accomplices in the Republican leadership in Congress. It will go down as another monumental and appalling policy failure of the Trump Administration.

“This will be known as the Donald Trump-Ann Coulter shutdown. Cowed and egged on by right-wing commentators on Fox News, President Trump proclaimed on national television that he was ‘proud to shut down the government’ and to ‘take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.’ Those are his words. So his last-minute effort to shift the blame elsewhere is silly. Trump sought it, he brought it, and now he and his party and deranged polemicists like Ann Coulter own it.

“The shutdown nightmare was dreamed up by Trump and GOP leaders, but it is being carried out now on the backs of the American people and at least 800,000 federal workers, who we depend upon to make the government work but now must pay the price for such recklessness and indifference.

“Of course, this is not the first time that the Administration has waged war on the federal workforce. Today is the first anniversary of the President signing the GOP tax bill into law, which reminds us that Trump attempted to rescind a modest 1.9 percent planned pay increase for federal workers in the name of ‘fiscal responsibility’ while ramming through Congress a bill that grows the deficit by trillions of dollars over the next decade with huge tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.

“It is unacceptable to make federal workers and their families suffer on behalf of the Administration’s policy delusions.  President Trump promised that Mexico would pay for his $35 billion fantasy Wall but that promise, like so many others, has just vanished. The Wall is a ridiculous 14th Century solution to a 21st Century problem and a massive invasion of private property rights—thousands of landowners along the border in Texas will tie up this ‘project’ for years in Eminent Domain proceedings.

“With the shutdown looming, I cosponsored the bipartisan Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, legislation guaranteeing back pay to all furloughed federal workers, including the tens of thousands who live and work in my District.  I am determined to see that not a single federal worker or contractor lose one dollar in bargained-for pay or benefits because of the President’s impetuous and foolish actions.

“Trump’s fantasy wall faces strong bipartisan opposition from Democrats, many Republicans, and a majority of Americans. We will not be bamboozled or coerced into wasting billions of dollars in taxpayer money.

“The shutdown showdown remains a scandalous insult to democracy and reason. It is beyond time to end this Wall fetish and reopen our government.”

Congressman Jamie Raskin represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, which includes Montgomery, Frederick, and Carroll counties. He is the Vice Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, a Senior Democratic Whip, and Freshman Representative to the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee. He also serves on the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and the Committee on House Administration.