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Shutdown Is ‘Extortion, Plain and Simple,’ Say 78 Groups

Jan. 23, 2019

Shutdown Is ‘Extortion, Plain and Simple,’ Say 78 Groups

Leading Public Interest Organizations Demand Republican Senators End the Trump Shutdown, Reopen the Government Immediately

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A coalition of 78 public interest organizations today sent a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and U.S. Senate Republicans demanding that they reopen the government immediately, amid a partial government shutdown that is harming families and communities all across the country as well as our environment and economy.

“We urge you, your Republican colleagues and President Trump to abandon the strategy of taking legislative hostages and harming ordinary people in our country to achieve policy goals opposed by a large majority of voters,” the letter reads. “This is extortion, plain and simple. It is outrageously undemocratic and a betrayal of the American people.”

The letter calls on Senate Republicans to pass the legislation being voted on Thursday that extends funding for three weeks for all agencies closed or partially closed during the government shutdown, and excludes the extraneous requests demanded by President Donald Trump on immigration or funding for his proposed southern border wall.

The signatories to the letter include the Center for American Progress, the League of Conservation Voters, Public Citizen and The Wilderness Society.

The letter is dated the same day that a CBS News poll found that 71 percent of Americans do not believe the government should be shut down over the president’s demand for a border wall. The poll also found that about one in five Americans has been “personally impacted” by the cutback in services and programs affected by the shutdown.

Read the letter.