WASHINGTON, DC  Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) released the following statement on H.Res. 1102.

"Once again we are forced to avert a last-minute government shutdown by MAGA Republicans. Today I voted yes on H.Res. 1102 because millions of federal employees, servicemembers, hardworking families, and children are depending on us to do our job and keep our government open. This package includes a pay increase for servicemembers as well as essential funding for the National Institutes of Health, child care, education programs like Head Start, and initiatives to combat climate change and bolster our environmental resilience.

"However, the prohibition of funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) until March 2025 was an abominable insertion to this government funding bill at a time when a humanitarian disaster is taking place before our eyes in the Gaza Strip. The World Food Programme reports that 1.1 million Gazans are now experiencing catastrophic hunger, which is the highest level of food insecurity as classified by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification.  We all support a prompt and thorough investigation of the profoundly disturbing allegations against a dozen UNRWA employees (out of 30,000 workers), but using this investigation as an excuse for starving the Palestinian people is intolerable.

"The failure to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is a moral catastrophe and risks further exacerbating regional violence and tensions. I have made it absolutely clear to Democratic leadership that humanitarian aid for Gaza is a paramount priority, but I voted for the minibus bill because shutting down the government of the United States today would not provide one more penny of funding to UNRWA – it would only punish our federal workers, servicemembers, teachers, working families and small businesses across America.

"The denial of funds to UNRWA at this time of humanitarian emergency is a profound dereliction of American leadership, which is why I am working with Ranking Member DeLauro, House appropriators, and the White House to find ways to get humanitarian aid to suffering Palestinian civilians. Even in the most vexing and difficult times, the United States must prioritize the protection of civilians."