How President Trump’s shutdown is hurting New Mexicans

Martin Heinrich
4 min readJan 14, 2019

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New Mexicans are paying the price for the longest government shutdown in American history because President Trump refuses to stop holding our federal workers and basic government services hostage to his political gamesmanship.

Since the shutdown began, I have heard from many New Mexicans about the harm it has caused them and their families. I spoke on the Senate Floor last week about some of these stories.

I am doing everything within my power to urge the president to end the shutdown without delay. These New Mexicans, and all Americans, deserve so much better than this.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) speaks on the Senate Floor to highlight the damaging impact the Trump Shutdown is having on communities across New Mexico and to call on the president and Senate Republicans to reopen the government immediately. January 8, 2019.

I wanted to share a few more stories from New Mexicans who have been impacted.

Please read and share some of their stories below, and tell me your shutdown story here or by sharing a short video or photo on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #ShutdownStories

Rich, Albuquerque

Rich is a retired Federal Air Traffic Controller who now teaches current air traffic controllers in Albuquerque. Air traffic controllers, and all airport safety officials, are being forced to work without pay during the shutdown. Rich told me he is worried that if the shutdown continues he will stop receiving his retirement checks and be forced to dip into his savings.

Rich

“The President is hurting our nation and our economy with this shutdown. My fellow air traffic controllers are already working 6 days a week, as they have for the past several years, and now they don’t know if they will be paid. Our federal community is taking the brunt of President Trump’s temper tantrum.”

Samuel, Santa Fe

Samuel is a federal employee working at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). He has been furloughed during the shutdown and has been forced to search for unemployment and food stamps to stay afloat financially.

Sam

“For the first time in my life, I’m filing for unemployment insurance and receiving food stamps just to make ends meet. This unnecessary and uncivil shutdown has caused me undue stress and uncertainty that will continue into the foreseeable future.”

Robert, Rio Rancho

Robert works as a therapist for mental health and substance abuse in Native communities. He wrote to me and sent me a video about how the shutdown is impacting New Mexico’s tribes and pueblos and how lack of funding will leave these communities without critical services.

Robert

“As of today, tribal communities start losing services that include emergency medical services, firefighting departments, police departments, medical services, Head Start programs, WIC programs for early infancy, elderly service programs — they start shutting down today.”

Adrielle, Farmington

Adrielle is an administrator for a home visiting program in northwestern New Mexico. The families she serves depend on federal assistance such as food stamps to make ends meet. She is worried about how these families will cope if those programs are threatened by a prolonged shutdown.

“The families that we serve, unfortunately, have to stretch out their finances even more to ensure that them and their children will not go hungry or without any daily needs.”

Danielle, Albuquerque

As a woman with disabilities, Danielle is scared that a prolonged shutdown may threaten her low-income housing subsidy and her food stamps.

Danielle

“Trump’s shutdown has made my life as a disabled woman living with Multiple Sclerosis very challenging. This situation makes me feel very insecure.”

Mel, Albuquerque

Mel is a federal employee in Albuquerque, New Mexico who is currently working without pay. He’s worried about being able to pay his bills if the shutdown continues.

Mel

“My savings will be exhausted by the first of February. I will be unable to pay my rent or any of my bills. I’m not even sure how I will put gas in my car to continue coming to work.”

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