Murkowski criticizes of partial government shutdown

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, made clear in the wake of the partial government shutdown this past week her strong disapproval of the situation, while declining to specifically criticize either Republicans or Democrats in Congress.

“Shutting down the government, even partially, is no way to govern,” Murkowski said, in a statement issued on Dec. 23.

“It is disruptive, harmful, wasteful and could leave hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors without paychecks over Christmas. This year we worked hard to return to regular order in the appropriations process, voting bills out of committee and the senate with strong bipartisan support.

“The Appropriations Committee did its work, but the votes are clearly not present in the Senate to provide $5 billion for the border wall and changing filibuster rules would only come back to haunt us in the future. We have to accept those realities and reopen the government as soon as possible, she said.

The senator noted that President Donald Trump has already signed five appropriations bills approved by Congress for fiscal 2019. Bills not yet enacted are for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and related agencies; Commerce, Justice, Science, and related agencies, State, foreign operations and related programs; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies.

The partial shutdown is having several impacts:

Programs have been funded through the rest of fiscal 2019 will continue to operate. Including Veterans Affairs and Defense.

Only essential employees, generally those who do work related to life safety, property protection, health, emergency response, and other work as determined by their agencies, will be allowed to report for work.

Those deemed non-essential are legally required to stay home and are put on unpaid furlough. Homeland Security is deemed essential, which means employees will work, but without pay.

Additional details on effects of the government shutdown can be found on Murkowski’s website, at https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/government-shutdown-resources.