OPEN THE GOVERNMENT; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 8
(House of Representatives - January 15, 2019)

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                          OPEN THE GOVERNMENT

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Brendan F. Boyle of Pennsylvania). The 
Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee) for 5 
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, today reflects two interesting 
commemorations. First, it is the actual birthday of Dr. Martin Luther 
King, Jr., who lost his life in a fight for justice for public 
employees. I wonder what he would say on this day while we are in the 
longest shutdown that is really against the Nation's proud and needed 
Federal employees across the Nation.
  I think it is important for my colleagues to reflect that 80 percent 
of those impacted who work for the Federal Government are outside of 
the Capital of the United States.
  The second commemoration is a founder's day for Alpha Kappa Alpha. 
That is the group of young women who organized in a segregated America 
at Howard University to stand for service to the Nation. They were 
African American young women. As I have said, in a segregated Nation, 
in the midst of Jim Crow-ism, these women stood up to be servants of 
change and good business.
  As I mention this, I do it because of where we are today. It is 
important to note the tragic impact that we cannot see that are not the 
headlines of Federal employees, their families, but even those who are 
not Federal employees impacted by the lack of service, such as a 
disabled woman who may not get her payments from HUD and may be evicted 
from housing that she desperately needs.
  So why are we here? It is interesting that for the 2 years that the 
President has served after convincing every voter in America that any 
wall will be paid for by the country of Mexico, our neighbor and our 
friend, he never found a pathway for that to happen, because it was a 
fantasy, untrue, and it would never happen.
  But in the 2 years that he had the Presidency, the Republican Party, 
the House and the Senate, he never made an issue of this wall. But when 
the Nation wanted a change and elected Democrats to the House of 
Representatives in the majority, all of a sudden in the close of the 
Mueller investigation and a number of other investigations going 
forward, indictments of various collaborators and close associates of 
the White House, all of a sudden the wall becomes a major national 
issue, rather than the crisis of dealing with the needs of the American 
people from gun violence, to jobs, to dealing with our disasters, it is 
  But, yet, we have worked as Democrats in the House to get the 
government open and to stop the Trump shutdown. When we first were 
sworn in, we voted on every bipartisan bill that the Senate had voted 
on to open the government. That was the week of January 3. We then, in 
the last week, voted for every Republican appropriations bill in order 
to send to the Senate for the government to be open.
  Then there were ideas of extending the homeland security funding for 
a short period of time to February 8, 3 weeks. We supported that. We 
were even eager to hear from the Senator from South Carolina to open 
the government and then begin the negotiations.
  None of these suggestions were taken. In fact, the suggestion of the 
Senator from South Carolina, a Republican, was rejected out of hand on 
this past Monday.
  The President has not been able to provide his own solutions. He has 
not understood smart border security means we can sit down and devise 
ways to ensure more personnel, to be able to make sure there are TSO 
officers, Border Patrol officers, Customs and Border Protection, 
laptops, technology, drones, and scanners.

                              {time}  1100

  That is what the American people believe in. That is what the 
American people believe in. The American people are smart. They know 
that we can find a solution, and they also know the solution comes in 
many forms, an infrastructure of some sort.
  Those of us on the border States have been to the border. It is our 
home. We have seen the 700 miles of border infrastructure. We have seen 
construction going on.
  I just came back from the border again. I am from Texas. I was there 
in the space where Felipe, the little boy who died, came across. He 
came across with family members. They turned themselves in seeking 
asylum. More courts and more judges we need to ensure--
  So there is a solution. In the name of Dr. Martin Luther King, I 
would simply say: let us be a peace finder, and let us be a warrior for 
justice and find the peace and solve the problem. Open the government 
to this White House.