Kathy Castor | U.S. Rep. | PoliticsU.S. Rep. Kathy Castor voted last week to re-open departments to help end the shutdown.

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, voted last week to immediately re-open several agencies that have been shut down  since late December.

Castor voted Thursday (Jan. 11) to immediately reopen the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Agriculture. Those bills represented individual appropriations bills already passed by U.S. Senate Republicans.

The new Democratic House passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act – seven pieces of U.S. Senate Republican-passed legislation combined as one—to end the Trump Shutdown, re-open government and secure our borders, Castor said. But, she said, Trump and the GOP have continued to play politics with federal workers and hundreds of thousands of lives and communities across the country – the Trump Shutdown is now in its 21st day.

Castor said she also voted on another of the numerous U.S. Senate Republican-passed bills to reopen the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other critical agencies, including the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, to prevent the degradation of Florida’s national parks and monuments, allow EPA to resume its critical activities in protecting Florida’s clean air and waters that are inextricably linked to the state’s economy, and protecting the nation’s public health. This bill was passed by the U.S. Senate in the last Congress, but, Castor said, the same Republican leadership and President Donald Trump are now blocking it and continuing a shutdown that is hurting a rising number of working families and communities across the country.

“Our top priority is reopening the government. There is no reason for President Trump to hold on to this shutdown over his demands for an ineffective and wasteful wall. Now, in the face of the president’s bitter obstruction, U.S. House Democrats are taking further action to re-open government by passing individual U.S. Senate Republican appropriations bills to re-open all government agencies,”  Castor said.

“Due to the shutdown, everyday working Americans have been unable to receive vital services from federal agencies. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has stopped processing loans and mortgage approvals, putting families trying to buy a new home in limbo; the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not been able to conduct routine food safety inspections; and the Food and Nutrition Service might have to reduce benefits to millions of Americans who depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),” she continued.

The Democratic House took further action Thursday by passing individual Senate Republican appropriations bills that will end the shutdown, starting with the Departments of Transportation, HUD and Agriculture:

  • H.R. 265 – Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies Appropriations Act
  • H.R. 267 – Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act

“It is time for President Trump and Congressional Republicans to do their job and end this shutdown so that hard-working Americans can get the services and paychecks they deserve. The President’s intransigence is causing 420,000 federal employees – including Coast Guard service members, law enforcement and public safety personnel – to work without pay and preventing 400,000 federal employees from going to work and missing paychecks to support their families – including more than 13,000 in Florida – many of them veterans.

“Thankfully the Tampa Bay area is a hard-working and generous one, and there is no better example than our wonderful non-profit organizations like United Way Suncoast, which is teaming up with Feeding Tampa Bay to ensure TSA and Customs Officers have resources to carry them through these difficult times,” Castor said.

Castor serves on the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee and as Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. She represents Florida’s 14th Congressional District, which includes Tampa.

For information about Castor, got to

Kathy Castor | Government Shutdown | Tampabay News

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