Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell inspired a (tongue-in-cheek) wild goose chase from four freshman congresswomen Wednesday as they searched the Capitol high and low in an attempt to deliver a letter demanding that McConnell hold a vote to end the ongoing government shutdown. The search party was comprised of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, Katie Hill of California and Lauren Underwood of Illinois, per the New York Post.
“He seems to be running away from us,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters after explaining that the freshman fleet had already visited his Capitol office, the cloakroom, the Senate floor and another office building suite in search of the Senator, to no avail. “800,000 people don’t have their paycheck,” continued Ocasio-Cortez. “So where’s Mitch?”
The current shutdown, which tallies now at a listless 27 days, broke the record for longest shutdown in American history. Its economic effects have begun to pile up. The letter Ocasio-Cortez and company had attempted to deliver, which was signed by over 30 House Democrats, argues that Congress “has the power to end this shutdown now.”
Read the letter in full below.
Dear Senator Mitch McConnell:
We write as members of the Freshman Class of the 116th Congress, an historic group that has the distinction of being the first Congress to be seated in the midst of a partial government shutdown.
We as the legislative branch have the power to end this shutdown now. In December, the Senate unanimously passed legislation that would have kept the government open. In January, the House then passed those same bipartisan bills and sent them to the Senate. If the Senate were to pass these bills, we would be able to re-open the government and then proceed to a debate about immigration reform and border security.
However, it is impossible to have a meaningful policy discussion while the executive holds public servants hostage. We respectfully request that you allow the Congress to work its will and allow a vote on this bipartisan legislation to end the shutdown so that we can end this manufactured crisis and allow our devoted federal workers to get back to work for the American people.