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Heinrich, Vasquez Say Shutdown Would Be "Pointless," Devastating To Families

Sen. Martin Heinrich and Rep. Gabe Vasquez hold a Zoom press conference on Friday.
Sen. Heinrich's office
via Zoom
Sen. Martin Heinrich and Rep. Gabe Vasquez hold a Zoom press conference on Friday.

US Senator Martin Heinrich says the looming government shutdown is irresponsible, completely unnecessary and wildly pointless.

Heinrich and Congressman Gabe Vasquez held a Zoom press conference today from Washington to talk about the shutdown that could begin on Saturday.

The two place the blame on about 20 hardline Republicans in the House who they say want a shutdown and Speaker Kevin McCarthy is listening to them instead of the American people.

Heinrich says a shutdown could be devastating to New Mexicans and people across the country.

“In New Mexico, nearly 30-thousand women and children on WIC risk losing nutrition assistance. Over 13-thousand service members in New Mexico are at risk of not being paid. Families in rural areas wouldn’t be able to apply for or receive USDA housing loans, farmers and producers in the middle of harvest season won’t be able to access new loans,” he said. “Travel will be impacted and that could include during the Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico’s largest tourism event of the year.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's last-ditch plan to keep the government temporarily open collapsed. The vote was 198-232, with 21 hard-right Republicans voting to sink the package, despite it including an across the board spending cut of 30-percent. Vasquez and other House Democrats say those cuts are too extreme. 

Heinich says they are grinding through a bipartisan package in the Senate, but says House Republicans need to act more responsibly to reach a deal.   

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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