Close Menu Congressman Kurt Schrader

Kurt's Work

Press Releases

Schrader Slams Absent Leadership in Face of Federal Shutdown

Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) voted against yet another short-term funding bill that failed to outline any clear budget priorities and did not address a slew of bipartisan and popular programs including:

  • funding for Community Health Centers (CHCs), where 27 million Americans receive their primary health care, which expired last September;
  • disaster funding for the wildfires that have plagued the entire West Coast and flooding that has impacted regions across the country all at historic rates this year;
  • the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which the President has needlessly slated to end on March 6th, which will cost Oregon over $605 million in lost gross state product and throw the future of roughly 10,000 Oregon workers with DACA status and their employers into limbo;
  • and continuing to inflate an already bloated Pentagon budget without an increase to funding for domestic programs like education, infrastructure, and economic development programs.

“At this point, we’ve surpassed a lack of leadership; this isn’t even governing,” said Rep. Schrader. “I wouldn’t expect a student government to operate this way, let alone the government of the most powerful nation in the world. To call this embarrassing would be an understatement.

“We have programs that provide life-or-death services that ran out of funding over 100 days ago. We’re allowing 122 young people daily who have been educated here, who are working in our communities and paying taxes fall into limbo. You want to talk about our federal dollars? Losing these young people from our workforce is going to cost us $460.3 billion from our national GDP over the next decade. Meanwhile, we’re blindly throwing more money at an already bloated defense budget that has zero guarantee of ensuring our courageous servicemen and women are going to get all of the resources they need.

“Leadership has had months to work out a long-term spending proposal to address these programs and craft an expansive budget that might actually create more jobs, improve our infrastructure, and promote education. Instead, all we’re getting are these piecemeal, barebones, and unnecessarily politicized two-week long skeleton bills. I know there is a desire to pass a long-term budget to fund these programs and more. Just this morning my bipartisan, bicameral Problem Solvers colleagues and I met to come up with a better, long-term solution that leadership could easily pick up and run with. That’s why I came to Congress; that’s why my friends across both sides of the aisle came to Congress. What’s happening now is reckless, irresponsible, embarrassing, and absolutely no way to govern.”

Congressman Schrader voted for legislation last fall to fund CHCs along with the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) citing the importance of the programs and a desire to help move the process along; a process which has now continued to stall for nearly four months since funding for both programs expired at the end of September. With over 900,000 enrolled in CHIP statewide, the program provides coverage to more than one third of children aged 18 and younger in Oregon’s 5th district

In March of last year, Congressman Schrader reintroduced his Hold Congress Accountable Act (H.R.1794) which would reduce the salary of Members of Congress in the event of a government shutdown for as long as the shutdown continues. He first introduced a version of the bill in 2013 immediately following the start of the government shutdown in October of that year. During the 2013 government shutdown, Rep. Schrader donated his own pay to the Oregon Food Bank. If the government shuts down again, the Congressman plans to similarly donate his pay to a charitable organization.