As chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Harrison), played an active role in presenting what she called “eleven opportunities” to the Senate to end the partial federal government shutdown before it was temporarily ended on Jan. 25.
Going forward during the 30-day period of negotiations on the border wall and homeland security, Congresswoman Lowey is chairing the bi-partisan immigration conference committee. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) is the co-chair.
Indicating that on several appropriations issues before the government re-opening, the debating parties were not that far apart, Lowey said, “Five bills have already been passed.”
During a phone-in press meeting Friday, as New York’s LaGuardia airport was issued a ground stop by the FAA, Lowey expressed frustration that families in New York’s Congressional District 17, as well as throughout the nation, were being hurt by lack of pay and important government services were being hindered.
Lowey noted that she was in contact with her colleague in the senate, Senator Shelby who heads up the Senate Appropriations Committee. “We could probably solve this thing in a matter of a few hours,” she said.
“The Trump Shutdown has claimed more victims: some of our nation’s busiest airports,” Lowey continued.
There was growing concern about Westchester County Airport’s ability to remain open with TSA workers there experiencing hardship while they reported to work without pay and some calling in sick to pursue other jobs.
Lowey said that some of her constituents were collecting unemployment to help make ends meet and others were visiting food banks to feed their families.
At the 35-day point, entering the second pay period, Lowey called on the president and Republicans to end the shutdown, get federal employees like air traffic controllers paid and back to work, and then join Democrats for negotiations on border security.
“Let’s take 30 days to discuss Homeland Security. We probably could come to a resolution in a week,” Lowey said.
As the shutdown ended, Lowey emphasized that the solution had always been simple. “Reopen the government, pay federal employees, and then begin a period of constructive negotiations on border security. It is sad that it took 35 days of inflicting pain and misery on Americans for President Trump and Republicans to come to their senses and agree to this solution, but it is better late than never,” she said.