Congresswoman Joyce Beatty: Open government now, negotiate wall later
The showdown over the partial government shutdown is about to drag on into its second month and neither President Donald Trump nor congressional Democrats are ready to blink.
Tens of thousands of federal employees are applying for unemployment benefits and food stamps. They’ve been promised back pay if the government opens back up, but there is little evidence that will happen any time soon.
In a show of bipartisanship this past week, central Ohio Democratic Representative Joyce Beatty and Republican Representative Steve Stivers announced a new hotline to connect furloughed federal employees with help and resources. Those workers in central Ohio can call 1-833-876-0937.
“We’re now in the longest shutdown we’ve ever had,” Beatty said. “I have to be hopeful that enough Republicans and Democrats, and with the strong leadership that we have on our side being in the majority, we’re actually offering solutions.”
Beatty said she thinks the best way to end the standoff is to reopen the government and then enter negotiations about Trump’s long-promised border wall.
“We’ve already given him $1.68 billion for helping individuals and resources. He’s not spent all of those dollars even,” she said. “So, I don’t think he has a plan.”
Beatty would like to see more of her Republican colleagues stand up to the president and accepting some of the bipartisan legislation introduced and voted on in the House of Representatives.
This term, Beatty is among the leadership ranks of congressional Democrats, taking on the position of Vice Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and serving on several committees and task forces. With a divided Congress — Democrats control the House and Republicans control the Senate — she may have her work cut out for her, but she remains optimistic she can get things done.
“I’m going to be hopeful because I believe when you look at the economics of infrastructure and housing, those are things that hopefully I’ll be able to bring dollars back to the district that shouldn’t be patrician,” Beatty said. “We’ve done that before in the minority.