In First Committee Hearing, Rep. Antonio Delgado Addresses Impact of Government Shutdown on Upstate New York Farmers & Small Business Owners
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) joined his first committee hearing as a Member of Congress. During the Small Business Committee hearing, entitled ‘The Shutdown: Economic Impact on Small Businesses,’ Delgado highlighted the conversations he had with local farmers and small business owners during the shutdown.
“It is simply inexcusable that we found ourselves in [a government shutdown], and as members of this body, we cannot let ourselves be in this position again,” Delgado said during the hearing. Speaking about his conversations on the shutdown during his time so far in Congress, Delgado stated, “I’ve held three public town halls and met with folks back home who are farmers, contractors, and small business owners—we have over 27,000 in my district.”
Delgado discussed specific issues he heard from his constituents about the shutdown, including a local cidery whose USDA grant reimbursement was stalled, and farmers concerned about the delayed arrival of migrant workers whose applications could not be processed on time. “This shutdown has created uncertainty and frustration for many in my district that are working hard to make ends meet,” Delgado stated.
Delgado’s testimony at today’s hearing is part of his ongoing efforts to highlight why New York’s 19th Congressional District cannot afford another shutdown. Delgado has held three town halls where he heard from constituents about the necessity of keeping the government open. During the shutdown, he kept the phone lines in his offices open on the weekends to provide additional assistance and withheld his own pay. He visited with those affected by the shutdown, including federal employees, members of the Coast Guard, and farmers from the Hudson Valley. Delgado also voted repeatedly to end the shutdown and sent letters to the Department of Agriculture asking about the impact of the shutdown on SNAP benefits.