Washington, D.C. – Below is a statement by United States Conference of Mayors President and Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin:

“This morning, prior to the President’s announcement, the Executive Committee of the United States Conference of Mayors unanimously approved an emergency resolution calling on Congress and the President to pass legislation that would re-open the federal government.  We are pleased that the President has agreed to re-open the government for three weeks while Congress negotiates a long-term budget solution.

“We urge Congress to come together across party lines and work towards a long-term solution that prioritizes the American people so that they no longer have to live with fear and uncertainty.  A short-term fix will provide temporary relief, but families across this great country deserve better from their elected leaders. No one wins when the federal government shuts down, and there is no reason our citizens should pay the price while Washington remains mired in a political dispute.”

**Note: Below is a copy of USCM’s resolution calling for end of the partial government shutdown:

WHEREAS, the current shutdown began on December 23, 2018 and is now the longest shutdown in United States history;

WHEREAS, as Mayors, we are witnessing firsthand how the prolonged shutdown is harming both local businesses and economies and is straining the resources of social service providers;

WHEREAS, roughly 800,000 federal workers—many of whom are federal contractors with no prospect of back-pay—are currently furloughed;

WHEREAS, 300,000 federal workers serving in critical roles with the TSA, Secret Service, and courts, are being forced to work without pay;

WHEREAS, Federal workers at affected agencies have now missed two paychecks—forcing many to forgo paying rent, bills, healthcare, and other essentials;

WHEREAS, critical programs such as food assistance for hungry families and affordable housing will begin to run out in March;

WHEREAS, the Department of Housing and Urban Development failed to renew over 1,000 contracts for housing support, and Section 8 vouchers are not being funded—threatening thousands of Americans with the risk of eviction;

WHEREAS, the shutdown is causing irreparable damage to our national parks;

WHEREAS, the Senate passed a funding bill to keep the government open without border wall funding in December 2018, and the House has since passed the same bill;

WHEREAS, Mayors support effective and efficient border security measures,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Congress must immediately pass, and the president must sign, legislation to reopen the government.