Thursday, January 24, 2019

Tell your senators to stop ruining people’s lives and jeopardizing this country's security!

Government workers and their families have now worked 34 days without a paycheck. While people are helping with food banks or GoFundMe drives—or, as we are, by securing interest-free loans through the AFL-CIO credit union for our members who are unpaid federal employees—these are all Band-Aid solutions. So many people are hurting. Many have applied for unemployment benefits. 
Some have been forced to call in sick because they can’t afford the gas it takes to get to work. Some have had to choose between medications and food, and decide which bills to pay. And many, most notably our TSA agents, are being compelled to work without pay—a possible violation of the 13th Amendment.
The Senate will vote on two bills to reopen the government TODAY. But only the Democratic proposal would reopen the government, allow workers to get back to their jobs, and provide disaster relief to Americans affected by hurricanes and wildfires.
Please call your senators at 866-803-8830 (listen to the entire AFT message to connect with your senator) and tell them: Stop playing with people’s lives and livelihoods. Vote to reopen the government and put our government employees back to work!
President Trump and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seem to think this is a game. The Trump-McConnell proposal is a rehash of ideas that Congress and the American people have already rejected. And while the bill says it’s creating short-term protections for the Dreamers, the poison pills in the language may make things worse for them in the long run. Plus the Trump-McConnell proposal still demands $5.7 billion for a border wall.
We don’t oppose border security. We oppose hurting working people and immigrants for a political sound bite.
Every day our government stays shut down, families are struggling under mounting bills and increasing economic insecurity. Native Americans are left without law enforcement or healthcare services on tribal lands. Snow plowing and road maintenance fall by the wayside, cutting off access to food, medicine and schools for working families on reservations. Immigrant families are still being separated at the border, and their children are getting sick and dying in detention camps that lack adequate medical supervision and care. People in domestic violence situations are left without legal protections. Small-business owners are left without loans. Food safety inspections are delayed. Crime victims go without legal services and support. National parks stay closed. Our communities and our country suffer.
Both Democrats and Republicans care about border security. That’s why President Trump should reopen the government—so our elected leaders can have a full discussion and continue to work together on serious and effective strategies to make the country safer and more secure.
It’s time for Trump and McConnell to stop playing politics with our lives. We must reopen the government so we can negotiate meaningful solutions to border security. Call your senators NOW at 866-803-8830 and tell them: Stop the shutdown.
In unity,
Randi Weingarten
AFT President

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