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Vigil: No Government Shutdown! Budget for All!

Outraged seniors, tenants and government workers today held an emergency vigil at the Boston headquarters of the Republican Party to protest the threat by Congressional Republicans to shut down the government on Tuesday. Participants delivered a letter from the Budget for All Campaign urging the State Party to tell Congressional Republicans to stop playing games with people’s lives and the world economy.

“Your party’s leaders have gone too far”, the letter states. “A shutdown is unacceptable, immoral and unpatriotic, and squarely the result of your party’s intransigent conduct. Elected officials who are unwilling or unable to govern in a responsible manner should get out of the way for others who are”. The letter urges the State Party to repudiate the “repugnant Tea Party extremists like Ted Cruz and their billionaire patrons, who are driving your party’s agenda in Washington”

Congressional Republicans are threatening to shut down the federal government October 1 unless coverage under The Affordable Health Care Act is delayed for millions of Americans. The current federal fiscal year expires September 30, and Congress must pass a “Continuing Resolution” to keep the government open beyond that date.

“There is no excuse that could ever be justified for the government to shut down,” says Derrick F. Thomas, National Vice President of the northeast region of the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO. “Government workers provide essential benefits for the American public. Their jobs and benefits should not be pitted against the implementation of the Administration’s Affordable Care Act or the debt ceiling.”

“Unless a Federal Budget is passed by October 1 tens of thousands will be furloughed, payments to active duty soldiers will cease; no FHA mortgages would be approved; Federal loans to small businesses would be suspended; Federal research projects would be halted; and other vital services will be threatened,” said Paul Shannon of the American Friends Service Committee. “There would eventually be severe repercussions on the larger economy that will affect all of us.”

Already the Sequester cuts have jeopardized the well-being of tens of thousands. But a government shut-down will have far more widespread impacts across the country and threaten the U.S. and world economy.

The groups offered their own solution to the budget crisis in Washington, based on the “Budget for All” public policy question which won overwhelming support from voters in all 91 cities and towns where it was on the ballot.

Today’s action was called by the Budget for All Campaign, which sponsored the referendum, and allied labor, tenant, peace and social justice organizations.