December 21, 2017
Issued By: Mary Kay Henry
WASHINGTON—SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement after Congress passed another continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown, without action on the DREAM Act, relief for Puerto Rico, or long-term funding for the CHIP program:
“Congress did not do working families any favors by half-heartedly procrastinating on their work and keeping the government open for just another month. Those families are facing a holiday season where they are forced to live in fear and pay the cost of inaction everyday. Republican congressional leaders have chosen to spend the year passing tax giveaways for corporations and trying to gut Medicaid when they should be ensuring working families have financial security and higher wages.
“Each day Republican leadership fails to even bring the DREAM Act up for a vote, over 100 immigrant youth lose the ability to work, pay taxes and live without fear of being ripped apart from their families. While members of Congress enjoy holiday festivities, millions of Puerto Ricans are living without power, clean water and hope for an end to the humanitarian crisis plaguing their island. And while Republicans in Congress are choosing not to resolve the budget standoff, our nation’s parents and healthcare professionals are left wondering how to pay for vital health services for children. This short-term funding fix for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is completely inadequate. This continuing resolution also did not provide any funding for cost-sharing reduction subsidies or do anything to stabilize the health care markets. The responsibility is squarely at the feet of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, who have had all year to address these crucial issues, but instead chose to once again kick the can further down the road and head home for the holidays with millions of people facing uncertain futures.
“Working Americans are fed up with elected officials who would rather play politics and pass out tax giveaways while neglecting to enact any laws that would help raise wages or create good union jobs. Members of Congress need to come back to work on January 1 and take action. If they don’t, we will elect champions next November, in 2020 and for years to come who understand the meaning of being a public servant. SEIU members are united and nothing will stop us from joining together and making our voices heard.”