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Quigley Joins Illinois Lawmakers, Furloughed Workers for Press Conference on the Devastating Impacts of Trump’s Shutdown

Jan 14, 2019
Press Release

CHICAGOToday, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), who serves as Chairman-Designate of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and Government, joined Illinois Democratic lawmakers, federal workers, and constituents to speak about the damage caused by the government shutdown and the need to bring it to an immediate conclusion for the sake of all Americans. You can watch the press conference here or read Rep. Quigley’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, below:

Hi, I’m Congressman Mike Quigley, and it is my privilege to represent Illinois’ Fifth District in Congress.

I appreciate you all for joining me today as we raise awareness of the devastating, real-life consequences this government shutdown is having on our friends, our neighbors, our local businesses, and our state’s entire economy every single day our government is closed.

We are now in the longest shutdown in American history, and for what?

800,000 federal workers across the county have been deprived of the certainty that comes with receiving a timely, reliable paycheck that acknowledges them for their hard work. That includes almost 7,500 living right here in Illinois.

American small businesses have been robbed of their peace of mind thanks to delays in the processing of federal loan assistance applications that help them run. 

The list of consequences goes on and on. From the shuttering of domestic violence hotlines and the delay of disaster relief funds to the burdens placed on air traffic control and TSA agents, who are working right here today—without pay.

As Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the Department of Treasury and IRS, I’ve seen firsthand how the shutdown impacts all taxpayers—causing confusion about the process and delaying tax returns, which many American families rely on.

That is why I introduced legislation to reopen the IRS, SBA, SEC, and many other key agencies, as well put 130,000 federal workers back to work. I’m pleased this bill passed the House, but we are nowhere near in the clear.

It is never okay to hold people, paychecks or essential government services hostage as a deal-making tactic, and I will continue to speak out in urging my Republican colleagues, in particular Senator McConnell, to step up, govern responsibly, and put the American people first in a fight they never picked.

Our constituents—you all here today—deserve so much more, and I assure you we will continue to be your strongest advocate and fiercest ally in getting our government back up and running in service to you.

Because until that happens, hard-working public servants like Drew O’Brien, are left struggling, wondering when the next paycheck will arrive and when they can get back to doing their jobs. Drew is a Senior Counsel in the Division of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission here in Chicago—an agency funded under my subcommittee.

He, along 94% of the staff at the SEC are currently furloughed. We’re talking about the people who police Wall Street. Until they’re at full capacity, ongoing and new investigations into market abuses are stalled. But I’ll let Drew tell you the personal toll this has taken on him, his colleagues, and the functioning of his agency…