DENVER – With the longest government shutdown in U.S. history slated to end by the end of Friday, after 35 days, following a deal between Republicans and Democrats, Colorado’s members of Congress are reacting with relief that the shutdown is over.
But some of the blame continues to shift after the president and Republicans agreed with Democrats to a deal to reopen the government until Feb. 15 that had none of the $5.7 billion in new funding for a border wall that the president had demanded and shut the government down over.
The Senate passed the measure to reopen the government early Friday afternoon and the House is expected to do so Friday evening, giving President Trump the chance to end the shutdown before midnight – which would be five weeks to the hour from when the shutdown began.
Statements from Colorado’s members of Congress will be posted to this story in the order in which they are received:
Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo. 3rd Congressional District)
“It’s good news that federal workers will be paid, and that the government will be able to fully provide the services Americans expect and deserve. It remains to be seen, however, what will be accomplished on border security going forward. The President has made a good-faith effort to work out a solution, and now Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer need to come to the table and work with him on a plan to address the challenges facing America’s border security. This critical issue must be addressed, or there will likely be another stalemate in a few weeks.”
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo. 7th Congressional District)
“Reopening the full government is the right thing to do. Border security and comprehensive immigration reform are serious issues, and I look forward to having a serious and thoughtful discussion and debate about sustainable and effective solutions that help strengthen our borders, create jobs, ensure Dreamers are able to stay in the only home they’ve ever known, and provide an earned pathway to citizenship for people who are paying taxes and not committing crimes.
“The people who work for our federal government are patriots and provide critical services to our country and the American people—and I thank them. This has been a painful and demoralizing experience for them and embarrassing for our country. As a result, I will continue to work with my colleagues to make sure we learn a lesson from this unprecedented shutdown and ensure the jobs and livelihoods of federal workers can never be held hostage again.”
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo. 1st Congressional District)
“This government shutdown should never have happened, and we need to make sure it never happens again. I met with a group of federal workers at home today who have been forced to bear the brunt of the president’s misguided actions, and the harm that it has caused them will be felt for a very long time. The president’s announcement today was a total capitulation to the House and I hope we can take him at his word that he will continue to negotiate in good faith on a border security bill. In the meantime, it’s important that we work quickly to get the government reopened as soon as possible, and ensure that every federal worker is paid the money they are due.”
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo. 5th Congressional District)
“I commend President Trump for negotiating and reopening the government. Hopefully, Congressional Democrats are serious in their offer to work with the president. I’m also extremely pleased to see that so many hardworking Americans will receive their well-deserved backpay.”
Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo. 6th Congressional District)
“In the Army, I learned quickly that when politicians talk tough, real people get hurt. For the last 35 days, we saw that firsthand as our president used our federal workers as a bargaining chip in his political games.
“Over 20,000 Colorado workers and their families have spent the past four weeks dealing with pain and chaos. Our top priority as a country now must be getting our federal workers paid and back to work as quickly as possible. As this senseless shutdown ends, we must restore servant leadership to Washington and make sure we never use people and their paychecks as political pawns in policy discussions again.“
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.)
“I’ve been clear that I do not believe government shutdowns are ever the right answer, and I applaud the President’s funding resolution to reopen the government and provide a platform for additional border security funding.
“Today’s announcement to reopen the government and come together to negotiate border security is what I have been saying from the very beginning. Now that the government will reopen, it is time to leave partisan corners, work together to fund border security, and get back to work for the American people.”
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
“For 35 days, more than 800,000 public servants bared the brunt of this reckless government shutdown. The next three weeks provide an opportunity for bipartisan and constructive conversations on how to secure our border in a way that reflects our values as Americans.
“Now that President Trump has come to his senses, we must ensure his administration immediately restores back pay to federal workers and gives these families a chance to get back on their feet.”
Bennet also sent a letter to President Trump after the announcement was made in which he called for a plan to restore any income lost by federal workers, contractors and businesses due to the shutdown.
Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo. 2nd Congressional District)
“The partial government shutdown has caused tremendous economic uncertainty for 800,000 federal workers, countless federal contractors, small businesses and American families for over 5 weeks now. Over this time, I’ve spoken with Coloradans in my district who have been going without a paycheck: workers at our national parks and federal labs, TSA staff, firefighters, and small businesses owners struggling as our tourist industry struggles, many who have not been able to pay rent or buy groceries, some who can no longer afford childcare or the cost of their medications. They deserve to have our government reopened immediately. It is unfortunate, however, that it took President Trump 35 days to accept a deal that Democrats put on the table weeks ago. I look forward to holding constructive discussions with my colleagues on border security solutions and comprehensive immigration reform.”
The office Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) has so far not issued a statement about the deal.