September 29, 2023

Whitehouse Statement on Looming Republican Shutdown

Washington, DCU.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today released the following statement regarding the impending shutdown of the federal government being driven by extremist Republicans in the House of Representatives:

“As Speaker McCarthy and his MAGA Chaos Caucus look ever more likely to plunge the federal government into a shutdown, it’s worth remembering how avoidable all of this is.  After bringing the country within days of a disastrous default on the federal government’s debt, Speaker McCarthy hashed out an imperfect deal with President Biden to avoid exactly this situation.  The Speaker – caving to far-right radicals – is indicating that he will abandon his own deal and also reject the Senate’s bipartisan effort to stave off a shutdown.

“The group calling the shots in the House does not like government and does not want to govern, and real Rhode Island families could feel real economic pain as a result.  We will be working through the weekend in Washington to keep trying to find a way to prevent a shutdown and to ready plans to assist Rhode Islanders in the event McCarthy chooses to defund the government.”

A prolonged shutdown of the federal government threatens to:

  • Force the 3,700 servicemembers in Rhode Island and all our military and federal law enforcement officers to work without pay;
  • Affect the 18,000 women and children in Rhode Island who rely on WIC services for nutrition;
  • Restrict resources to veterans and close regional VA offices;
  • Prohibit the Social Security Administration from providing proof of income so seniors can apply for loans or housing;
  • Delay an estimated $392,500 in financing for Ocean State small businesses each day;
  • Deny children early education and child care for families by eliminating Head Start slots;
  • Jam up airport travel;
  • Slow development of defense technologies being built in Rhode Island;
  • Undermine research on cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other deadly diseases;
  • Delay safe drinking water, food, and clean air inspections;
  • Cut off the review and approval of Small Business Administration loans;
  • Endanger FEMA response for new disasters and halt long-term recovery projects; and
  • Freeze OSHA workplace safety inspections, putting Rhode Island workers at risk.


Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921