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Guest opinion

Grijalva: 'End shutdown charade'

'Let's remember all the people who are out of work today'

As the federal government closes down today, let's remember the 800,000 federal employees unnecessarily out of a job. Let's remember the air traffic safety inspectors, National Park Service and public lands employees, Small Business Administration loan processors and many others sent home without a paycheck. Let's remember the $300 million per day this is costing our country in lost economic output. That's where our attention belongs, and that's where my thoughts are today. Let's remember all the people put out of work and end this charade.

The impacts of this shutdown will worsen as long as Republicans refuse to negotiate. What we're seeing now is just a taste of what we'll see in a week or a month. This is happening because a small group of radicals insist on having their way despite the damage to our constituents and our system of government. The fact that Speaker Boehner has allowed them to control the majority of the House of Representatives despite their small numbers speaks volumes.

I have consistently favored normal funding for our government and have opposed a shutdown from the beginning. The most productive way to move forward would be for a bipartisan, bicameral conference to discuss the entire budgeting process and decide not only how to end this destructive shutdown, but to adequately fund government services and operations for the long term. We cannot continue to starve the federal government and expect miracles at the other end of the rainbow. Austerity has failed and is unpopular. It's time to start a real recovery based on investments in our future. We've tried mindless cuts and finger-pointing at working families. Somehow, those haven't worked. We should be creating jobs, not shooting ourselves in the foot. That's not a controversial or partisan position, it's public common sense, and yet here we are governing by catastrophe because a few people didn't get their way.

I challenge my colleagues across the aisle to explain to their constituents why their small businesses can't get new loans. I'd like to hear the answer as much as they would. So would the millions of Americans whose livelihoods are threatened every day our federal government doesn't function. If this is the best the Republicans have to offer at this point, they should just say so and let the rest of us fix the mess we're in.

U.S. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva represents Arizona’s 7th Congressional District.

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2 comments on this story

Oct 4, 2013, 8:29 am
-1 +0

I challenge my colleagues across the aisle to explain to their constituents why their small businesses can’t get new loans. I’d like to hear the answer as much as they would.

I suspect that many Republicans would be anxious to end this mess, but have become so fearful of the extremist wing that controls their party that they dare not break ranks.

They may at last be coming to a breaking point, though, and their salvation may be in Ted Cruz’ profound disagreeableness.

Oct 1, 2013, 2:32 pm
-3 +6

Grijalva, your entire time in Congress is a charade. You’ve made it abundantly clear that your true allegiance lies with other countries. If you care so much about people out of work, then why did you call for an economic boycott of this state? If you really want to make things better, resign.

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Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com

Grijalva with U.S. Reps. Beto O'Rourke and Filemon Vela of Texas, at a press conference in Nogales in September.