U.S. Senator Tim Kaine delivered a speech on the Senate floor addressing President Trump’s announcement on Twitter that he supports a government shutdown in September. With 170,000 federal employees in Virginia, and countless other people across the Commonwealth who would be directly and indirectly harmed by a shutdown, Kaine made it clear that he will fight against this threat at every turn.
Kaine said he was “very disturbed with the President’s words,” highlighting example after example of how the 2013 government shutdown was painful in every corner of the Commonwealth, from impacting federal employees who were unsure of when they would return to work or if they would be paid, to small business owners from Virginia Beach to the Shenandoah Valley who were scared by the impact of the shutdown on tourism, to Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employees on military bases including nurses and child care workers who couldn’t do their jobs.
Kaine continued, “On behalf of 170,000 Federal employees living in Virginia and the people and communities they serve; on behalf of cities and counties around Virginia who rely on federal support for infrastructure projects, economic development assistance, opioid prevention efforts, export promotion and so many other critical programs; on behalf of Virginians struggling with disease and illness who pray for lifesaving cured developed through federally funded medical research, on behalf of dynamic businesses and all of their workers who need certainty from Washington in order to create jobs and expand the economy… And on behalf of the reputation of this nation and the values that we proudly claim as American values, I will do anything and everything in my power as a United States Senator to stop any Trump shutdown, to stop any ‘good’ shutdown of the government of the greatest nation on this earth, either now or during September, or during the remainder of his term. And I call on all of my colleagues to take a similar pledge.”