Congressional Action in the Wake of the Government Shutdown

Jan 31, 2019 | Congressional Legislation, News

The House of Representatives passed resolution H. Res. 77 that encourages financial institutions to “work proactively with their customers affected by the shutdown of the Federal Government who may be facing short-term financial hardship and long-term damage to their creditworthiness through no fault of their own.”

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA-43), chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee who introduced the resolution, gave a statement encouraging financial institutions to do what they can to support consumers affected by the shutdown.

“Given the financial hardship and emotional distress these consumers face through no fault of their own, I introduced H. Res. 77 to send a strong message to the financial industry that they should do what they can to help these innocent consumers,” said Waters. “Specifically, the resolution expresses the sense of Congress that financial institutions and other entities should work proactively to help all consumers affected by the shutdown.”

While Waters acknowledged that many financial institutions have already pledged to accommodate affected consumers, she emphasized the importance of efforts from all institutions and customer reporting agencies in the coming weeks and months.

In addition to the Congressional resolution, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced the Indian Programs Advance Appropriations Act, or S.229, which aims to soften the worst of government shutdowns on tribal governments.

If passed, the bill would secure funding in advance for critical programs at Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Indian Health Service (IHS), ensuring the programs stay open during future government shutdowns.

Senator Udall, who is also the vice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said in a statement that many other vital federal programs have advance appropriations already in place, but the BIA and IHS do not have the same guaranteed accommodations.

“Because of the unique government-to-government relationship between tribes and the U.S., Native communities in New Mexico and across the country are among those hit the hardest when the appropriations process is hijacked for political leverage, as is the case in this shutdown,” Udall said.

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