January 08, 2019

VIDEO: Ahead of President Trump’s Address, Udall Speaks Out Against the Devastating Effects of the Trump Shutdown on New Mexico Families, Tribes, and Public Lands

Shared stories of New Mexicans who are paying the price for President Trump’s reckless decision to hold government funding hostage

Udall: “New Mexico is one of the states that is being hit the hardest by the President’s temper tantrum”

VIDEO: Ahead of President Trump’s Address, Udall Speaks Out Against the Devastating Effects of the Trump Shutdown on New Mexico Families, Tribes, and Public Lands

WASHINGTON – Today, ahead of President Trump’s Tuesday evening address to the nation, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), vice chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, delivered a speech on the Senate floor about the devastating effects of the Trump shutdown on New Mexico families, Tribes, and public lands. In his speech, Udall shared the stories of several New Mexicans who are paying the price for President Trump’s decision to hold government funding hostage in an attempt to force the American public to pay for a wasteful and ineffective border wall. 

He also called on Senate Republicans to allow a vote on the bipartisan appropriations bills passed by the House, and demanded that the president work with Congress to end the shutdown immediately and provide relief for families across New Mexico, saying, “President Trump needs to stop holding federal programs hostage to his demands for a wasteful, ineffective, and destructive wall, and end this shutdown now. We can do it easily. The Senate can immediately take up and pass H.R. 21 -- the appropriations bill passed by the House last week… I call on Leader McConnell and the members of his party to let us get to work... The lives and livelihoods of every day Americans hang in the balance.” 

Below are key excerpts from Udall’s speech:

On the shutdown’s particularly devastating and disruptive effects on New Mexico: “Economic anxiety is pervasive in all corners of the state.  In fact, New Mexico was recently ranked as the most vulnerable to the impacts of the shutdown, because of our significant Federal workforce and the importance of the federal government to our economy.”

On the deep economic anxiety and financial uncertainty that the Trump shutdown has inflicted on New Mexicans: “My home state of New Mexico is one of the states that is being hit the hardest by the President’s temper tantrum. By his act of political extortion. In New Mexico, roughly 5,800 Federal workers are either furloughed or working without pay.  These aren’t just numbers. These are real people.  Real people, wondering how they will make their mortgage or rent payments, or feed their families.” 

On how this shutdown is causing real harm to Native communities across New Mexico and Indian Country: “For tribes across Indian Country, the shutdown consequences are particularly dire after more than two weeks without federal funds. Simply put -- tribes report that federal programs critical to health and public safety are grinding to a halt and lives are endangered …And every day the president continues to treat Tribal health and public safety programs like hostages for political gain endangers families across Indian Country.”

On the worsening impacts of the shutdown on our public lands and national parks: “[President Trump’s] shutdown has already had real impacts on our nation’s public lands -- including our most iconic national parks. Many national parks — like Bandelier National Monument and Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico — remain closed.  Restrooms have been closed for two weeks, trash has accumulated, and roads have not been plowed getting plowed. For two weeks, we have heard horror stories of poor sanitation and public safety issues at national parks because of the shutdown -- including overflowing toilets, vandalism and other resource damage.”

On the president’s upcoming address to the nation: “But as Democrats stand ready to re-open the government, President Trump plans to address the nation tonight -- to tell us again why he is ‘proud’ to keep the government shut down. Tonight, we’ll likely hear more bizarre talk about what we need at the border from a president who doesn’t know the first thing about the border. Once again, we will likely hear blatant lies about immigrants, about our border, and about our border communities. The American people are tired of this President’s assault on the truth. They are tired of having their lives, and livelihoods, caught up in this President’s inability to rise to the office that he holds. No address from the Oal Office will change that.”

The full text of Udall’s remarks is HERE