Chicago's Congressional Freshmen Weigh In On Shutdown

Bernie Tafoya
January 21, 2019 - 8:58 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya

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A couple of freshmen members of Congress from the Chicago area are weighing in on the government shutdown. 

U.S. Representatives Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten said the House continues to pass government funding legislation that had previously been approved by the Republican-led Senate, and Underwood said she hopes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "has the courage" to put that proposed legislation again before his members.

The federal government shutdown is just about a month old and Rep. Casten said the U.S. House must stay firm, get the government re-opened and then talk more about border security. He said it's not lost on Congress that the debt ceiling issue will come around in about three months and that President Trump may try another government shutdown on that issue.

"We are in the situation with the president because he decided to take DACA hostage as one of the first things when he came into office, and I think the challenge that all the Democrats have is how do you negotiate with a kidnapper?" he asked.

Casten added: "The challenge is, we’re dealing with an extremely irrational person."

He said there's no reason for the government to be shut down. "This is not about border security because our border agents are not being paid right now. The president took that the decision not to pay our border agents."