As we enter the second longest government shutdown in recent history, Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D-MT) and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R-MD) urged Congress and the Trump Administration to reach an agreement to reopen the federal government. Governors Bullock and Hogan serve as Chair and Vice Chair of the National Governors Association (NGA).
In a letter sent to President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Governors Bullock and Hogan wrote that, “A federal government shutdown is a failure in governance and a weight on our economy and the American people.”
“Every day, governors must work with our state legislatures, local governments, and stakeholders throughout our states to find common ground, and we believe Congress and the President must do the same,” wrote the governors. “A federal government shutdown should not be a negotiating tactic as disagreements are resolved. Governors stand united in telling the federal government to open the doors of currently shuttered agencies while you find a long-term, bipartisan compromise on the issues that currently divide Washington.”
Bullock, who yesterday welcomed Montana legislators to the State Capitol on the first day of the 66th Montana Legislative Session, added “Montanans expect their government to get things done. They elected us to act in their best interests, not score political points. Folks in Washington DC ought to take a page out of Montana’s playbook and focus on the Americans who elected them to office instead of which party ‘wins’ or ‘loses’ during a shutdown.”
Read the governors’ letter to Congressional leadership here: https://www.nga.org/news/press-releases/letter-from-national-governors-association-leadership-calling-for-swift-resolution-to-government-shutdown/
Prior to the shutdown, the State of Montana directed agencies to make sure they had drawn all federal funds then available to them. The state can continue to weather a short-term federal shutdown with minimal impacts to the services Montanans expect, by borrowing from certain state revenue sources if needed and by slowing or stopping new contracts that use federal funds impacted by the shutdown. This will become increasingly difficult the longer the shutdown persists.