Letter from National Governors Association leadership calling for swift resolution to government shutdown

The National Governors Association, the nonpartisan coalition of the 55 governors of U.S. states and territories, called on President Trump and congressional leaders to immediately end the partial federal government shutdown that began Dec. 22, while resolving their differences through bipartisan negotiations.



January 7, 2019

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate
U.S. Capitol Building, Room S-230
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Minority Leader
United States Senate
U.S. Capitol Building, Room S-224
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader-designate
United States House of Representatives
U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

President Trump, Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy:

On behalf of the nation’s governors, we urge you to find a compromise and immediately end the partial government shutdown. A federal government shutdown is a failure in governance and a weight on our economy and the American people.

As we enter the 17th day since the lapse in appropriations, it is imperative that you re-open the government now and, then, reach across the aisle to find a solution that will end the current impasse. Every day, governors must work with our state legislatures, local governments, and stakeholders throughout our states to find common ground, and we believe Congress and the President must do the same.

A federal government shutdown should not be a negotiating tactic as disagreements are resolved. Governors stand united in telling the federal government to open the doors of currently shuttered agencies while you find a long-term, bipartisan compromise on the issues that currently divide Washington.

This partial government shutdown affects nine federal departments and dozens of smaller agencies, all of which our states do business with daily.

Approximately 800,000 federal employees in our states are working without pay or furloughed – impacting their ability to provide for their families, jeopardizing their credit, and potentially siphoning dollars from state economies.

Due to the significantly reduced presence of federal park employees and security, our national parks are overflowing with trash, natural resources are endangered, and the safety of visitors is uncertain. Unnecessary hardship is being foisted on many Native American communities, as tribal governments that employ hundreds of their members have been forced to furlough employees or close entirely as a result of the government shutdown.

Additionally, federal loans for rural development have ceased, the nation’s coastal safety is at risk with reduced Coast Guard capabilities, and the Environmental Protection Agency has shut its doors. And, if a resolution isn’t reached this week, by January 11, federal court operations will be curtailed and we will have hit the end of the first pay period for federal employees falling entirely within the shutdown period, among other challenges.

By taking action this week to end the shutdown, you have the ability to stop these harmful impacts to our citizens and lift the burden from our economy.

Governors stand ready to help you navigate this situation and re-open the federal government.


Governor Steve Bullock
National Governors Association

Governor Larry Hogan
Vice Chair
National Governors Association