As Republicans move closer to shutting down the federal government, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:
“Republicans can spin all they want to try to blame Democrats for this shutdown but the simple fact is that they control the White House and both houses of Congress. If they want to keep the government open, that’s entirely within their power. But Donald Trump, who has repeatedly expressed his willingness—and even enthusiasm—for shutting down the government has decided that pandering to his xenophobic, racist base is his top priority. It was his choice to reject the bipartisan deal that Senators presented to him last week. No doubt he’d rather face the chaos of a shutdown than let more revelations about his involvement with Russian election meddling get any airtime. But ultimately it’s ordinary Americans, not Trump and his cronies, who will pay the steepest price.”
Diallo Brooks, PFAW’s senior director of outreach and public engagement said:
“A government shutdown is bad news for Americans in general and the Black community in particular. Meaningful anti-discrimination laws made the public service sector a place of secure employment for communities of color post the civil rights movement. The impact could be devastating for communities still struggling to catch up post the most recent recession. This can also have a huge impact on already struggling small businesses that rely on government loans. This means business run by people of color are among those likely to be hit the hardest by a GOP shutdown.”
Lizet Ocampo, PFAW political director said:
“Donald Trump is once again standing with his nativist base and taking the advice of white nationalists like Stephen Miller. But we’ve seen that Americans don’t want that kind of divisiveness and they won’t support it at the ballot box. Elections in Virginia, Alabama and now Wisconsin have shown that voters are sick of fearmongering and bigotry. Tactics like this are making it more and more likely that Republicans aren’t going to be facing a wave election in 2018—they’re going to be facing a tsunami.”
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.