Dear Members of Congress,
As President Trump continues to hold federal government paychecks hostage over billions of dollars for a wasteful and unnecessary wall, federal workers and contractors from nine departments are out of work, leaving thousands of families to scrape by without a paycheck.
There are 800,000 people in the federal workforce impacted by the shutdown, including low-wage workers. And that does not account for the contractors, including janitors, food service workers, and security guards who will not get back pay when the government reopens but still need to find ways to pay for childcare, housing, food, medicine, and support their families.
Each day that the shutdown continues, there are severe consequences for American families, small businesses and the economy. The economic ripple effects of the government shutdown cannot be underestimated. The 2013 shutdown, which lasted 16 days, cost our economy between $2-6 billion in lost output.
America’s families cannot afford this shut down and they cannot afford having our tax dollars, that should be used to improve our schools, childcare, and health care, being held hostage for a hateful and wasteful wall by the Trump administration.
The wall is not just a hateful symbol of exclusion: it will kill wildlife by interfering with the migration patterns and access to food and water of wildlife; it will cause dangerous flooding, causing millions of dollars in damage to the environment and local businesses, endanger the lives of border residents, and stomp on the rights of private landowners, resulting in a large government land grab that strips private landowners of their lands.
President Trump is manufacturing a crisis just to deliver on a hateful promise to his political base of support. The truth is that there is no crisis at the border, unauthorized border crossings are at historic lows, down over 75 % since 2000.
We call on Congress to do the right thing by our families by opening the government immediately and then use our legislative process to define our national spending priorities.