Murkowski Statement on Partial Government Shutdown

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) issued the following statement on the current partial government shutdown:

“Shutting down the government, even partially, is no way to govern. It is disruptive, harmful, wasteful, and could leave hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors without paychecks over Christmas,” Senator Murkowski said. “This year we worked hard to return to regular order in the appropriations process, voting bills out of committee and the Senate with strong bipartisan support. The Appropriations Committee did its work, but the votes are clearly not present in the Senate to provide $5 billion for the border wall and changing filibuster rules would only come back to haunt us in the future. We have to accept those realities and reopen the government as soon as possible. I remain committed to working with my colleagues on a solution to end this partial shutdown and fund the government.”

Both chambers of Congress have approved, and the President has signed, five of the 12 appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2019, which together account for approximately 75 percent of the federal budget. The bills not yet enacted are for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government; Homeland Security; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. 

Impacts of the Partial Shutdown:

  • Programs that have been funded for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2019 will continue to operate. Examples include Veterans Affairs and Defense.
  • Federal employees whose agency or program has not yet been funded for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2019 will be designated by their agency as “essential” or “non-essential”. 
  • Only essential employees—generally those who do work related to life safety, property protection, health, emergency response, and other work as determined by their agencies—will be allowed to report for work.
  • Those deemed non-essential are legally required to stay home and are put on unpaid furlough.
  • The Department of Homeland Security will be deemed essential, which means employees will work, but without pay.
  • Airports will remain open and air traffic controllers and TSA officials will remain on the job.
  • National Parks that require staff will be closed except for essential personnel. 

Additional details on the effects of the government shutdown and frequently asked questions can be found on Senator Murkowski’s website here.

Related Issues: Budget, Spending, and the National Debt