001hunter10One hundred women legislators and one hundred women community leaders from more than 35 states gathered Monday morning steps from the Capitol to call on Congress to work together to end the brinksmanship and get back to business doing the work of the people. The group is part of Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) and its program, the Women Legislators' Lobby (WiLL), a national nonpartisan network of women state legislators, who work together to influence federal policy and budget priorities.

“Our country is slowly recovering from one of the worst economic periods in our nation’s history and prolonging the budget process is a political cat and mouse game that is affecting our nation’s economy and people’s ability to provide for their families,” Illinois State Senate Majority Caucus Whip Mattie Hunter said. “We need to do what is best for the people of our country and shutting down the government as a political maneuver is unconscionable and irresponsible.”

From more than 35 states across the country, it was striking how similar the lawmakers found their constituent concerns. Phone calls and emails poured in from people who are elderly and disabled, fearful of losing their Social Security on top of the threat of food stamp cuts and housing subsidy cuts that are just beginning to roll out. Veterans returning from their service are calling concerned about losing their VA benefits while our servicemen and women deployed around the world are wondering whether they will receive their paycheck. The lawmakers expressed strong concern about what a shutdown would do to the people already hurt from sequestration.

“People are really starting to suffer from Congress’ inability to side with the American people,” Hunter said. “Congress need to remember that they are in office to serve the people and an overwhelming majority of people have said they don’t support shutting down the functions of government.”

“I appreciate the Women’s Action for New Directions and Women Legislations’ Lobby for leading the charge to make sure that congress hears the voice of the people,” Hunter said.

Category: Social Justice

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