Illinois’ senior senator says the federal government shutdown is an unnecessary hardship on the people in the eight agencies that are going unfunded. That includes the USDA Ag Lab in Peoria.
More than 200 employees and contractors at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research are not working or being paid.
Durbin says the house passed six major by-partisand appropriations bills last week and the Senate can act as soon as as Tuesday if Leader Mitch McConnell calls the measures.
“I’ll be back in the senate when we are in session encouraging him and all my colleagues to pass these bills. One of them is the Department of Agriculture. If it is passed by the senate and signed by the president then the Ag Lab would be open very very soon, which is something I’d like to see happen,” says Durbin.
18th District Congressman Darin LaHood agrees the shutdown could end quickly. But he and Durbin differ on how to get there. LaHood says democrats could end it if they would negotiate on border security. Durbin says the house has passed bipartisan spending plans that need senate approval and the president's signature.
“It’s testimony to the utter failure of politicians to do their job. I hope that it doesn’t become routine for this administration or any any administration to think that shutting down government, denying basic services at the expense of people who work for us is the right thing for America,” says Durbin.
Durbin says the shut down is an unnecessary hardship for an estimated 8000 working people in Illinois. That includes the Federal Prison in Pekin as well as others waiting for tax returns and those who depend on food stamps.