For Immediate Release
January 9, 2019
LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on the federal government shutdown and its impending threats to Michiganders and Americans. It can be attributed to President and CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.
“Last night, our president used a false crisis to paper over the real one he and Congress are currently causing for millions of Americans by shutting down the federal government and the services it provides. The shutdown has created widespread ambiguity and confusion, and if elected officials, government employees or advocacy organizations don’t have a clear picture of what’s at risk and when, how can we expect our residents to feel safe and secure?
“Food assistance is vital to hundreds of thousands of Michiganders to put food on their tables and prevent their families from going hungry, and right now they are on a ticking clock. It’s also unclear how long school lunches and breakfasts and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and other important federal nutrition programs can keep running as their federal funding dries out. Federal housing and rental subsidies are being jeopardized by the shutdown, putting people at risk of losing their place to live at the coldest time of the year. Residents who are expecting to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit refund still face uncertainty and potential long refund delays, because even with operational assurances from the IRS, there’s still significant concern around how timely the tax return and refund verification process will be due to shortages of IRS staff. And these threats from the shutdown are in addition to the hundreds of thousands of government workers whose own livelihoods are on hold and their families at risk—including more than 6,000 here in Michigan.
“Meanwhile, an immediate and effective solution that would stop all this hardship is languishing in the U.S. Senate. The U.S. House passed a funding solution that would reopen our government and the services it provides and separate it from the border wall discussion completely, and they plan to pass individual funding bills today for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, IRS and National Parks Service to stop holding those programs and the people who depend on them hostage for the president’s petulant and partisan agenda. The Senate passed these very same bills overwhelmingly before the holidays, so there is no reason for them to keep refusing to take them up again. The president and lawmakers in Washington must stop playing politics with people’s lives and end this shutdown immediately.”
The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.mlpp.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.