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Rep. Delgado Writes to Speaker Pelosi in Effort to End Government Shutdown

January 24, 2019

Rep. Delgado joins 30 House Democrats in letter to Speaker Pelosi with proposal to work across aisle to reopen government

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) joined 30 House Democrats in writing a letter to Speaker Pelosi proposing a bipartisan path forward to reopen the government. The letter, led by Representative Elaine Luria (VA-02), calls for an immediate reopening of the government followed by debate in House committees regarding border security. The letter also calls for a guaranteed House vote on a Department of Homeland Security funding package by the end of February.

"I came to Congress to get things done. Folks in Upstate New York are tired of the gridlock in Washington, and nothing is more emblematic of this than the government shutdown, the longest in history," said Delgado.

"While I do not support any funding for an ineffective and wasteful border wall, I joined this letter because I believe open dialogue is a good thing and the only way to make things happen. The letter is consistent with what the House Democrats have focused on since Day 1 in order to end this shutdown," Delgado continued. "I support border security that's effective and addresses real problems, for instance better technology to help with opioid interdiction at our ports. Shutting down the government should not be a prerequisite to accomplish things like this on a bipartisan basis. I support working across the aisle to come to agreement to reopen the government as quickly as possible, and I hope the proposal in this letter can be supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, and brought to the President's desk. This shutdown has caused real harm for the people of Upstate New York and needs to come to an end now."

In addition to sending this letter, Delgado has been focused on ending the shutdown, helping those affected by it within the 19th Congressional District, and elevating their stories in order to draw attention to the need to end the shutdown.

Delgado has announced that his pay will be withheld for the duration of the shutdown, and he is keeping the phone lines in his offices open from 10 AM – 2 PM over the weekends to provide additional assistance. He held his first town hall in Rensselaer County amidst the shutdown on Monday, where he addressed what he is doing about the shutdown and its impact on Upstate New York. His next town hall is this Friday in Dutchess County. Last Friday, Delgado met with farmers from the Hudson Valley affected by the shutdown, and attended a community dinner for federal employees who are missing their paychecks. Delgado also met with members of the Coast Guard in Saugerties, and co-sponsored a bill to pay them now.

Delgado has voted repeatedly to end the shutdown – including proposals that previously passed with bipartisan support in the Senate. He is also an original cosponsor of a bill that requires the Congressional Budget Office to submit daily reports to Congress on the cost and impact of a government shutdown on the economy, and he previously sent a letter to the Department of Agriculture asking how it will address the possible lapse in benefits under the SNAP due to the government shutdown. The Department has committed to fund SNAP benefits through February, but issues remain. Delgado wrote an additional letter to the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture to ask him to quickly address an issue raised by one of Delgado's constituents: many grocery stores and other vendors are unable to process SNAP benefits – which is done through the Electronic Benefits Transfer card program – because their license has expired, and cannot be renewed due to the government shutdown.