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Saturday, April 17, 2021

UPDATE: Price, other mayors make disapproval of shutdown known just prior to deal


Below is a statement by United States Conference of Mayors President and Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin made shortly before President Trump and Congress announced a deal to reopen the government:

“This morning, prior to the President’s announcement, the Executive Committee of the United States Conference of Mayors unanimously approved an emergency resolution calling on Congress and the President to pass legislation that would re-open the federal government.  We are pleased that the President has agreed to re-open the government for three weeks while Congress negotiates a long-term budget solution.

“We urge Congress to come together across party lines and work towards a long-term solution that prioritizes the American people so that they no longer have to live with fear and uncertainty.  A short-term fix will provide temporary relief, but families across this great country deserve better from their elected leaders. No one wins when the federal government shuts down, and there is no reason our citizens should pay the price while Washington remains mired in a political dispute.”

On Thursday, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said she would will be in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 23 at a meeting with several mayors from around the country.

She – along with other mayors – plan to tell the president the shutdown needs to end, she said.

“We’re going to tell the president to get the government back on track,” she said, speaking Thursday night at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Forte Awards program at the 4-Eleven, the venue on South Main where the event was held

“I will be in Washington D.C. tomorrow with a group of bi-partisan mayors talking about how economic development and particularly about how to do we grow opportunity zones and opportunity areas,” she said.

In a Tweet, Price said: “I’m heading to D.C. tomorrow to join fellow Mayors from across the country with the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s delegation. While I don’t have the power to open the government, I am going to do my part and advocate to end this shutdown.”

On Thursday, a splintered Senate swatted down competing Democratic and Republican plans for ending the 34-day partial government shutdown, but the twin setbacks prompted a burst of bipartisan talks aimed at temporarily halting the longest-ever closure of federal agencies and the damage it’s inflicting around the country.

In an interview after she spoke to the crowd at the Forte event, Price said the shutdown was already having an impact in Fort Worth.

She pointed to a recent homeless initiative the city had undertaken to house homeless veterans.

The city of Fort Worth, alongside Tarrant County Homeless Coalition and other partner organizations in the community, housed 181 homeless veterans in 100 days between Sept. 10 and Nov. 8. It exceeded the goal of housing 100 homeless veterans and getting veterans into a place to call home by the holidays.

With the government shutdown, the funds to pay rent on Feb. 1 for those veterans will not be available.

“We need to get this going again,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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