DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Statement Calling on Republican Governors to Reject Anti-Equality Legislation

Arizona’s Republican Governor Jan Brewer is considering whether to sign a bill into law that makes it legal for businesses to refuse service to patrons based on their sexual orientation. In response, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:

Democratic National Chair Debbie Wasserman Schulz
Democratic National Chair Debbie Wasserman Schulz

“The bill currently being considered by Arizona’s Republican Governor Jan Brewer is deeply offensive and an affront to the fundamental American value of equality. We should be working toward increased equality for all, not turning back the clock to enable discrimination.

“This is not an isolated incident. Republicans in Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee have drafted similar bills. Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are also pushing legislation that would allow businesses to deny services to same-sex couples.

“This is unacceptable. GOP governors have presented themselves as the leaders of their party, so as they convene today in Washington for a meeting, they should show true leadership by denouncing these bills and kicking them back into the dustbin of history where they belong.”

Republicans Can’t Tutor Themselves Out of an Anti-Woman Agenda

According to a Politico report last week, the National Republican Congressional Committee has begun tutoring their candidates on how to hide their hostility toward women and their anti-women agenda — especially when running against women. In reality, women know that this Republican Congress has pursued a divisive agenda including blocking contraceptive coverage, refusing to pass equal pay laws, blocking the Violence Against Women Act, overruling the health care decisions of women and their doctors, and raising women’s health care costs by allowing insurance companies to charge women more than men — obviously, there is a lot of ground to cover in these cover-up tutoring sessions.

“The Republican Congress’s problem with women isn’t what they say, it’s what they do,” said Emily Bittner of the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Republicans keep trying and failing to paper over their hostility toward women, but secret tutoring sessions can’t fix this problem. No amount of tutoring and talking points from the men in the House Republican Leadership can hide the true agenda of this Republican Congress: taking away contraception coverage, ending our guaranteed preventive care, and hiking costs for women by making our gender a pre-existing condition.”

A year after Republicans first touted their plans to improve their standing with women, it looks like Republicans in Congress haven’t learned anything about winning the votes of women. They still think the problem is what they say, not what they do.

  • SHOT (January 2013): “GOP looks for ways to stop the rape comments” [POLITICO, 1/11/13]
  • CHASER (December 2013): “GOP men tutored in running against women” [POLITICO, 12/5/13]

Today’s GOP—Not So Fresh and New

This Sunday, on CNN’s State of the Union RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said, “We are going to be the party that is fresh and new in 2016.”

The truth is that today’s GOP is the same extreme, ideological and out of touch party that turned voters away in droves in 2012, and again in last Tuesday’s elections. Just last week, A top Republican admitted that House Republicans are not going to act on immigration reform this year, despite overwhelming support from the public to act. Republican leaders in the Senate raced to introduce the most restrictive abortion ban in recent history, once again trying to put politicians between a woman and her doctor. And that’s all after the GOP shut down the government for 16 days last month costing the economy $24 billion.

Today’s GOP—not fresh and not new.

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President Obama Delivers a Statement on the Government Shutdown

President Obama issued a statement and answered questions asked by the press in the Brady Briefing Room. The President explained the need for Congress to reopen the government and prevent a default that would cause an economic shutdown. And he reiterated that while he is willing to negotiate on the budget or matters of policy like Obamacare, he will not allow members of the House of Representatives to hold the economy hostage.

President Obama stated:

“This morning, I had a chance to speak with Speaker Boehner, and I told him what I’ve been saying publicly, that I am happy to talk with him and other Republicans about anything — not just issues I think are important, but also issues that they think are important. But I also told him that having such a conversation, talks, negotiations, shouldn’t require hanging the threats of a government shutdown or economic chaos over the heads of the American people.”

Watch the full remarks here.

President Obama: “Call A Vote Right Now”

On Monday, President Obama met with FEMA officials at the National Response Coordinating Center, where he thanked them for their dedicated service during the shutdown in light of the arrival of Tropical Storm Karen and other potential natural disasters. The President repeated his call for Congress to pass a continuing resolution to reopen the government and to raise the debt limit. The President noted that about 86% of FEMA employees are currently furloughed.

He concluded:

I think the American people simply want government to work. And there’s no reason that there has to be a shutdown in order for the kinds of negotiations Speaker Boehner says he wants to proceed. Hold a vote. Call a vote right now.

Watch the full remarks here or you can read them here:

The Republican Shutdown: Hurting New Mexico’s Economy and Middle Class

The Republican Shutdown Slams Middle-Class Families and Small Businesses

The shutdown delays financial support for New Mexico’ small businesses. In FY12, the SBA’s flagship 7(a) and 504 loans programs supported 571,383 jobs and approved 53,847 applications over the course of 12 months, including 284 in New Mexico for a total of $110,049,200 in loans. On average, $318,983 in loans was approved for small businesses in New Mexico each day. [Small Business Administration FY14 Budget Justification; SBA]

The Republican Shutdown puts one-in-four of New Mexico’s 27,000 Federal employees out of work.

Federal employees around the country have been furloughed in the government shutdown. Nationwide, more than 800,000 federal workers, accounting for approximately 28% of the federal workforce, are facing furlough. [Census;Washington Post, 9/23/13; Wall Street Journal, 10/1/13]

Social Security services have been stalled.

Although checks for current Social Security benefits will still go out during a shutdown, many Social Security services will be not be available such as obtaining a replacement Social Security card and preventing improper Social Security payments. As a result of furloughs and service cuts during the last shutdown, 800,000 callers were denied service on the Social Security Administration’s 800 number. In 2012, 382,365 people received Social Security benefits in New Mexico. [SSA History; SAA, 2012]

The Republican shutdown endangers benefits owed to our nation’s veterans.

The VA will run out of money to pay mandatory benefits for existing beneficiaries by the end of October. This would affect disabled veterans, poor wartime veterans, survivors, and students. Many veterans call centers, regional offices, and business centers will be closed to the public. During the 1995-96 shutdowns, more than 400,000 veterans saw their disability benefits and pension claims delayed, while educational benefits were delayed for 170,000 veterans. New Mexico is home to 170,699 veterans. [Army Times, 2/3/11; CNN, 1/4/96; VA; Army Times, 9/28/13; Washington Post, 9/27/13; VA, 2013]

The Republican shutdown compromises young children’s school readiness.

The Republican shutdown delays funding for 22 Head Start providers across the country, jeopardizing early childhood education and care for the 18,000 children and families those programs serve. Ongoing grants to these 22 organizations were scheduled to be renewed in October. During FY12, an estimated 1,600 Head Start agencies served over 950,000 children, including 7,839 children in New Mexico. [CAP, 4/11; HHS; CRS, 1/9/13]

The Republican shutdown ends nutritional support for pregnant women and children.

With the Republican shutdown, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program will be suspended after one week. Once shutdown, no federal funds would be available to support WIC’s clinical services, food benefits and administrative costs. Average monthly participation in FY12 totaled more than 8.9 million, including 4.7 million children and 2.1 million infants. In FY13, roughly 58,242 women and children in New Mexico participated in the WIC program. [USDA, 9/27/13; FNS, 9/6/13 USDA, 9/6/13]

The Republican shutdown stops support for small businesses to grow and sell their products abroad.

During the shutdown, the Export-Import Bank stops all new financing for U.S. exporters. In FY12, the Bank helped support an estimated 255,000 American jobs at 3,400 companies throughout the United States. 88% (3,313) of all the Bank’s transactions were for small businesses totaling $6.1 billion. In 2012, 75% of the exporters in New Mexico assisted by the Bank were small businesses. [Ex-Im; Ex-IM, 2012]

The Republican shutdown cuts off critical infrastructure investments.

During the shutdown, the Federal Transit Administration will be unable to process any grants to transit systems for construction projects or operations. Recently, those payments have totaled $198 million per week. In FY12, New Mexico received $43,090,177 in funding for ongoing transportation and constructions projects. [FTA, 9/26/13; FTA, 2012]

National parks, wildlife refuges, and recreational lands are closed.

Due to the Republican government shutdown, nearly one-thousand national parks, wildlife refuges, and recreational lands across the nation are now closed. These closures come at a significant cost for neighboring local communities that rely on tourism revenue. Approximately 4,071 people visiting national parks in New Mexico will be turned away each day the government remains closed. The economic impact of these closures will result in nearly $171,703 of lost revenue each day for local communities. [National Parks Conservation Association]

Tell Speaker Boehner and the House Republicans: Enough Already

In 2011, John Boehner called a potential government shutdown irresponsible and costly. Now, we are in the midst of a shutdown that is harming our economy—all because the Speaker is letting the Tea Party call the shots.

John Boehner knows the shut down is irresponsible and costly, so why doesn’t he stop it? Every day that the Republican shutdown goes on, the price grows for average Americans and puts our nation and our economy at risk. It’s time for Speaker Boehner to stand up to the extremists in the Republican Party. It’s time for Speaker Boehner to act like a leader and stop caving in to the demands of the Tea Party.

Speaker Boehner has the power to stop this now —tell him to stand up to the Tea Party and end the shutdown.

Watch and share today’s video.