New Mexico Democrats Respond to the Republicans’ Shut Down of the Government

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Updated 11:54 pm MDT

After Republicans in the House of Representatives acquiesced to the extreme Tea Party wing of their Party and voted to shut down the government, New Mexico’s Democratic leaders responded to the decision by the Republican leadership to follow it’s most radical members in their caucus.

New Mexico’s Democratic leaders in Congress, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, Congressman Ben Ray Luján, and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham opposed the Tea Party resolution to shut down the government; Republican Congressman Steve Pearce supported the Tea Party Resolution.

At midnight EST the government shut down.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall released the following statement:

“A small minority of extremists in the Republican party is now holding the entire country hostage over a law that has cleared the Congress and the Supreme Court, and survived a presidential election. Insisting on a government shutdown to prove a point isn’t leadership, it’s a temper tantrum, and the American people are rightly disgusted. In New Mexico, the impacts of a shutdown will be felt immediately as our civilian employees are sent home from military installations, national parks and forests close to tourists, and countless other services are halted. If the shutdown lasts several days or weeks, the impacts will ripple through our state’s economy, hurting thousands of people in communities from Lordsburg to Los Alamos. The House could end this stalemate at any time. If there were a vote in the House on the bill that has twice cleared the Senate, it would pass in the House. I urge House Republicans to pass the Senate bill so we can focus on our priorities: rebuilding our economy and getting the American people back to work.”

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) released the following statement today:

“Closing down the government strikes at the heart of New Mexico’s economy and our middle-class families. And that was the decision Republicans made tonight.”

Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-CD3) released the following statement on the Republicans’ shut down of the government:

“I am deeply disappointed that House Republicans’ continued efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act have forced a government shutdown. The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land – upheld by the Supreme Court and accepted by the American people in the last election.

“It is clear that House Republicans would rather see the government shut down, New Mexico workers furloughed, and services halted and delayed for many in our communities than allow millions of Americans access to affordable health care.

“For months, Congressional Democrats have called for a conference committee to move the budget process forward. House Republicans refused, instead wasting time while the clock ticked closer to a government shutdown. It’s time for House Republicans to stop playing games, stop trying to undermine the Affordable Care Act, and pass a clean bill that funds the government. The longer the Tea Party shutdown lasts, the longer the people of New Mexico will pay the price and the greater toll it will take on our economy.”

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-CD1) issued the following statement after the Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to shut down the government:

“Make no mistake, House Republicans have shut down the government. The Senate repeatedly sent the House a clean funding bill to keep the government open while we work on the significant fiscal issues facing our country. The choice House Republicans faced was simple: pass the Senate’s commonsense continuing resolution, or cave into the extremist faction of their party and shut down the government.

“Now, many of New Mexico’s 27,000 federal civilian employees will be forced to stay home without pay, vital services for veterans and seniors are at risk, and our economic recovery hangs in the balance.

“Enough is enough. House Republicans must end these political games and immediately pass a clean continuing resolution to open the government and stop harming the American people.”