Tuesdays with Tom 1/15/2019
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall held a press conference call for local reporters to discuss the devastating consequences of the Trump shutdown — now the longest shutdown in American history — for New Mexico families. During the call, he addressed the disastrous effects of the president’s act of political extortion on federal workers, farmers, ranchers, Tribes, and public lands across New Mexico and Indian Country.
“President Trump and his allies in Congress are holding the livelihoods of thousands of New Mexicans hostage in an attempt to force taxpayers to spend over $5 billion dollars on an offensive—and ineffective—border wall,” Udall said. “New Mexico is one of the states that is being hit the hardest by this Trump shutdown. My staff estimates that at least 10,800 New Mexicans work for an agency that is shut down. That is a very conservative estimate. The vast majority of these individuals are either furloughed or working without pay.”
“Critical services have been shuttered, affecting communities all across our state. For our state’s Tribes, essential programs – for health and public safety — are grinding to a halt,” Udall continued. “The shutdown has also closed USDA – shutting down loans for farmers and ranchers and economic development programs for rural communities. Food assistance is in jeopardy for hundreds of thousands in New Mexico. Many of our state’s national parks and monuments – like Bandelier and White Sands – remain closed, endangering not just these special places, but also the local economies they support. And while he claims this is about border security, the president is actually forcing the officers at our ports of entry and border patrol agents to either work with no pay or be furloughed.”
“The president needs to stop holding these New Mexicans hostage for his toxic political agenda,” Udall concluded. “Democrats have offered bipartisan solutions to re-open the government. The president needs to accept sensible compromise – and if he won’t, Republican leaders need to stand up to him”