Casten Reacts to Trump’s Address

January 21, 2019
Press Release

Chicago, IL. – U.S. Representative Sean Casten issued the following statement in response to President Trump's address regarding the partial government shutdown. 

“The repeated negotiation tactic of this White House is hostage taking –from Dreamers, to asylum seekers – including children, to Federal workers and contractors, to American citizens whose lives and livelihoods are being put at risk by this shutdown. It has never been the practice of the American government to negotiate with hostage takers, believing that negotiating only emboldens them to do it again. It is beyond ironic that the White House has resorted to this tactic. 

"We all out to be deeply troubled by a chief executive who is callously focused on winning a political battle that he will risk the well-being of the American people – and, quite frankly, the safety of our country. 

"The President’s proposal was not a serious offer. Good faith negotiations does not occur behind a lectern in front of a television camera. It occurs when the parties are in the same room, sitting at the same table. This was a publicity scheme – a gambit aimed at improving poll numbers for a faltering White House. It cannot be taken seriously as long as the lives and the livelihoods of American families are being held hostage. 

"Perhaps the most telling portion of the President’s remarks was in what he failed to say. He didn’t even mention the hundreds of thousands of federal workers, who are furloughed or who are on the job, fulfilling their call to serve their fellow Americans, and not being paid. These men and women work in the Executive Branch, which he leads.  They include White House staff that serve and protect his own family. And he had not a word to spare in acknowledgement that these men and women and their families are struggling in the wake of his own decision to shutdown the government and cut off their wages. 

"Since the day I took the oath of office, I have been voting to reopen the government. I will do so again this week when the House reconvenes.”