For more than three weeks now, a vast number of Utah’s federal employees and contractors have been held financial hostage by the current government shutdown. Thousands of federal employees are currently furloughed or are being forced to work without compensation until after the shutdown ends. Federal contractors will never be compensated for their losses. These people are our neighbors, our relatives, our friends. They deserve better than to be treated as pawns in a political squabble.
The United States House of Representatives has already passed legislation to reopen the government, and the Senate could do so if its leadership willed it. This has gone on long enough. This shutdown has already caused direct financial harm to thousands of Utahns, and the risk of that harm spreading to the rest of our economy is real and dire. It is time for Congress to pass legislation that funds the government and for the President to sign it. Debating and negotiating over the President’s demands should continue only after our federal employees and contractors are able to return to work and get back to the business of running our government.
- Senator Karen Mayne, Utah State Senate Minority Leader