Merkley: Utterly Reckless that Speaker McCarthy and Republicans are Steering Us Towards Disaster, Government Shutdown

Washington, D.C. – Today, Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley – a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee – issued the following statement as Congress faces a potential October 1 government shutdown due to a lapse in funding:

“It’s utterly reckless that Speaker McCarthy is steering us towards disaster because he’s afraid of extreme conservatives in his conference. He’d rather let government funding run out and shut down the government, than hold up his end of this spring’s spending agreement with the President.

“A government shutdown will have the worst impact on those least able to weather it. This is what a shutdown means: Reducing food assistance programs, causing delays for Social Security applicants, denying pay to our troops, all while reducing economic output by untold billions. This disaster will put families in Oregon and across the country at risk – a risk they simply shouldn’t have to face.

“Senators from both sides of the aisle have been working together, and the Senate has a bipartisan agreement to temporarily keep the government open. This isn’t a permanent solution, but it’s a bridge to ward off the worst effects of a shutdown and give us more time to hammer out the details of a long-term agreement. Speaker McCarthy needs to take ‘yes’ for an answer and accept this deal.

“Everyone in Congress was sent here to do a job. There’s no more time to squander.”