News Release — Sen. Patrick Leahy
Aug. 23, 2017
(WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23, 2017) – Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday issued the following statement on President Trump’s threat to shut down the government if Congress does not agree to forcing American taxpayers to fund a border wall:
This is not President Trump’s first threat to shut down the United States government over his foolish, costly and useless wall, wasting tens of billions in U.S. taxpayer dollars. A wall the President promised that Mexico would pay for, and a wall that would be nothing more than a bumper sticker boondoggle.
The last Republican shutdown in 2013 dealt a devastating blow to economic growth, amounting to an estimated $1.5 billion lost for each of the 16 days of the shutdown. That is economic growth we can never get back.
We cannot afford his brand of government by threats of manufactured crisis. I would urge the President to instead put the full force of his administration behind investing in the American people, like the investments Democrats have proposed in the Senate Appropriations Committee. We should be supporting medical research, rebuilding out infrastructure, providing quality education to our children – and we should be building bridges between communities and cultures, not walls to divide us.