U.S. Sen. Mark Udall discussed on CNN Thursday how the federal government shutdown is hurting Colorado.
Udall, who is chairman of the U.S. Senate National Parks Subcommittee, highlighted how the shutdown is affecting everything from flood recovery efforts to job creation in communities surrounding our shuttered national parks.
"In Colorado, we have a national park, Rocky Mountain National Park, which is a key to the recovery of Estes Park, which was hit so hard by these floods. I chair that subcommittee in the Senate — the National Parks Subcommittee — and I want to get that park reopened, but not while being held hostage, not while having a gun held to our heads," Udall said. "This would set a terrible precedent for the future, and it would let a small group continue to hold us hostage whenever they thought that tactic was useful."
Additionally, Udall, Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and John Hoeven, R-N.D.),led a bipartisan letter, signed by 50 total senators, to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today urging him to ensure that the National Guard and Reserves, and the civilians who support our troops, are paid during the government shutdown. Even though the "Pay Our Military Act" was quickly signed into law before the government shut down, there have been reports that many service members, especially in the National Guard and Reserves, have been furloughed without compensation.
"We cannot allow this foolish and counterproductive shutdown to place our country at any more risk than it already has. The men and women in uniform who safeguard our national security and the civilians who provide essential support to our troops should not be victimized by a politically driven act that deprives them of their pay and harms their morale," Udall said. "Thousands of Coloradans stand watch over us every day, and I'm urging Secretary Hagel to exercise the authority Congress has given him to keep our troops, Department of Defense civilian employees and reservists on the job."