Transcript: Sen. Dick Durbin’s remarks on the government shutdown – Oct. 4, 2013

Partial transcript of press briefing remarks by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on the government shutdown on Oct. 4, 2013:

…24 hours ago, we faced a potential to our own personal security on Capitol Hill, and the men and women of the Capitol Police went forward to protect us. Sadly, a woman lost her life in the process but they were doing their duty. They were doing their duty and we should respect them for it. And to respect them, we should pay them.

It’s one thing for the Speaker to send a tweet message – a Twitter message to the Capitol Police acknowledging their bravery, it’s another thing for him to acknowledge and respect what they’re doing for us by paying them. Here they go without pay to work everyday – part of the Tea Party shutdown of this government.

As Sen. Reid has said earlier that isn’t the whole story by a long shot. There’s a lot more involved in this.

To think that we have laid off 72% of our civilian intelligence employees at this moment in time in our history is unthinkable.

To think that 90% of those who are responsible for enforcing the Iran sanctions to stop the development of nuclear weapon has been furloughed is unthinkable.

Now, Speaker Boehner may think he can declare a time-out on the war on terrorism but he can’t and neither can the Tea Party.

This threat to America continues, and this notion that we are going to furlough, lay off, and maybe not pay others who are protecting us both here and overseas is not in the best interest of America’s national security. And let me tell you it reaches beyond the federal payroll.

I talked to Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut yesterday and they are facing a situation that he has publicly announced here Sikorsky helicopter and their decision to layoff 1,500 salaried workers and up to 4,000 total workers because of the lack of Department of Defense inspectors on the production line. Here are 4,000 people out of work – not federal employees – because the decision of the Tea Party Republicans to shut down the government.

So now we’ve learned that every time we go to the floor and tell these stories, the Tea Party Republicans say, “Oh, we’ll make an exception for that one.”

Maybe we should come to the floor of the Senate or the House and read the directory of all the federal agencies. Would they open the government then?

The point is these men and women are doing important work to keep this country safe and keep it moving forward. It’s an embarrassment to the United States that we have reached this point. And if the Tea Party Republicans persist in this, it’s going to hurt more than just federal employees and services; it’s going to damage our economy. We’re going to find ourselves moving backwards instead of forward at the expense of good jobs in America.


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3 Comments on “Transcript: Sen. Dick Durbin’s remarks on the government shutdown – Oct. 4, 2013

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