Common Cause Demands Lawmakers Suspend Fundraising During Shutdown

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  • Dale Eisman

The government shutdown set to begin at midnight tonight must be accompanied by a shutdown in political fundraising by members of Congress, Common Cause said today.

“It’s unthinkable that in the midst of a shutdown, which may deprive up to 1 million federal employees of their paychecks, members of the House and Senate would pursue a political payday,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause’s senior vice president for strategy and programs.

Common Cause has sent all 535 members of the House and Senate a letter urging them to refrain from fundraising during the shutdown. It also is asking its 400,000 members and supporters to petition their representatives to abstain from fundraising until a budget is passed and signed by the President.

“If it occurs, the shutdown will be an act of political vandalism, precipitated by members of Congress whose actions demonstrate profound contempt for their oath to “support and defend the Constitution” Hobert Flynn said. “One would hope that every member would be so embarrassed by this breakdown that they would voluntarily suspend fundraising.

“Whatever one thinks of the Affordable Care Act, it was legally enacted by Congress and signed by the President after an exhaustive debate,” she added. “Those who now want to repeal it have every right to make the attempt; but having failed, they have no right to turn their backs on their sworn duty by closing down the government.

“All this damage is being done just so that a few people can make a political point. Meanwhile, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the target of these saboteurs, will proceed on schedule, paid for from federal accounts untouched by the shutdown. It’s madness, and by all accounts there’s more of it to come later this month when the federal government hits its debt ceiling.

“No one in Congress ran on a platform calling for a government shutdown; no one voted expecting their representatives would ‘lead’ us to a shutdown. Americans deserve better than this.”