01.24.19

[VIDEO]: Sen. Coons: “I have to ask, what's it going to take for us to re-open this government?”

Sen. Coons: “We all know the human cost of this shutdown.”

Sen. Coons: “We have to show our country and the world that democracy can work and I am optimistic that with the passion and commitment that I've heard from my bipartisan colleagues who stand on the floor with me tonight that it is possible to get this done.”

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) delivered remarks on the Senate floor about the partial government shutdown. 

“We have to show our country and the world that democracy can work, and I am optimistic that with the passion and commitment that I've heard from my bipartisan colleagues who stand on the floor with me tonight that it is possible to get this done. And that whatever gets taken up and considered in regular order by this body could then be passed by the House and signed into law by the President. Let us take a first bold step together today and sign on to an amendment that my colleague from Maryland has, committing us to a clean, three-week continuing resolution, re-opening the government and promptly negotiating in good faith to increase investment in border security,” said Senator Coons.

Audio and video available here.  

Senator Coons’ remarks are below:

Thank you, Mr. President, and I'd like to thank my colleagues from Alaska, from Maryland, and other states for their willingness to spend so much time talking, listening, and trying together to craft a path forward. 

 The role that the Senate has historically played in our constitutional order is one where we are the body that others look to when there is either inflexibility or unreliability in negotiating a path forward.  

We've got lots folks across this country suffering from this government shutdown -- it's having an impact that all of us could detail, but I have to ask, what's it going to take for us to re-open this government? Is it going to take a breakdown in food security or airline security? Is it going to take an increase in crime or terrorism, in accident, or thousands more Americans struggling to feed their families, losing housing or electricity?  

I won't go on with the list, but we all know the human cost of this shutdown. 

I'm here to join my friends, my colleagues, from both sides of the aisle in saying that we are intent on making a good faith effort to reopen the government for three weeks, to promptly support good faith negotiations, to address the President's priorities, to discuss what effective, modern investments in border security, in changes in immigration policy would look like, and then reach a resolution.  

In three weeks or less, we have to be able to do this. We have to show our country and the world that democracy can work, and I am optimistic that with the passion and commitment that I've heard from my bipartisan colleagues who stand on the floor with me tonight that it is possible to get this done. And that whatever gets taken up and considered in regular order by this body could then be passed by the House and signed into law by the President.  

Let us take a first bold step together today and sign on to an amendment that my colleague from Maryland has, committing us to a clean, three-week continuing resolution, re-opening the government and promptly negotiating in good faith to increase investment in border security.  

Mr. President, thank you, and with that, I yield the floor.

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Press Contact

Sean Coit at 202-224-5042 or Sean_Coit@coons.senate.gov