Freshman Congressmen oppose government shutdown

Eleven freshman members of Congress, led by U.S. Reps. Ryan Costello (R-PA) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), voiced their opposition to the looming government shutdown in a letter sent to their senior brethren last week. 

Congress and the President must agree on a budget by Wednesday to keep the federal government funded through the end of the current fiscal year. Democrats have said they will not agree to a budget that includes any provisions to stop the flow of federal funds to Planned Parenthood. 

“As freshman Members of the House Republican Conference, we were elected by our constituents to be principled, pragmatic leaders,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter. “They expect us to fulfill our responsibilities, avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, and live up to our commitment to work every day to help keep the American economy moving forward.”

The letter outlines reasons for opposition to any government shutdown that is politically motivated, and reiterates the resulting cost to the economy, stalled job creation and backlog in essential government services.

“In 2013, as a Chester County Commissioner, I was frustrated that the federal government unnecessarily shut down for 16 days,” Costello recently recalled of a similar shutdown two years ago.  “I remember that frustration all-too-well, especially as I hear some of my colleagues talk about a government shutdown as a realistic and possible option.”

Costello and other rookie members of congress have said they are committed to stopping any potential budget proposals that could lead to a possible shutdown. 

“I came to Congress because I wanted to work to keep our country and economy moving forward,” Costello said.  “That is why I will not use the threat of a government shutdown to fight political battles. Anything that keeps Americans out of work, threatens to delay necessary benefits for our veterans and weakens our economy is not a valuable negotiating tool.”

Other lawmakers who signed the letter include: Reps. Mimi Walters (R-CA), Daniel Donovan (R-NY), John Katko (R-NY), Amata Radewagen (R-American Samoa), Cresent Hardy (R-NV), Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Tom MacArthur (R-NJ).