Leaders of the nonpartisan National Governors Association, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, are calling on President Donald Trump and Congress to end the partial government shutdown.
In a letter sent late Monday, they said a "shutdown should not be a negotiating tactic as disagreements are resolved" and warned that the shutdown, now in its 18th day, is impacting residents and state governments.
The letter was signed by the organization's chairman, Montana Democrat Steve Bullock, and Hogan, vice-chairman.
The Maryland Republican also wrote Tuesday on Twitter that he was “disgusted by the lack of concern for hardworking employees who will go unpaid this week.” He called for a pay freeze for members of Congress and White House staff until the shutdown ends.
While the letter doesn't bear all their signatures, the organization represents some of the most prominent politicians in the nation from both major parties. Governors do not have a direct role in striking a federal budget deal.
In the letter, the governors don't take a stance on whether a wall should be built on the border with Mexico — which Trump has insisted on. Instead, it argues that a shutdown isn't an appropriate way to handle policy disputes.
"Governors stand united in telling the federal government to open the doors of currently shuttered agencies while you find a long-term, bipartisan compromise on the issues that currently divide Washington," the letter says.
The organization says governors are seeing a toll from the shutdown — and that it could get worse.
About 800,000 federal employees are furloughed or working without pay, leading to financial struggles for them and "potentially siphoning dollars from state economies."
The governors also warn that federal court operations could be curtailed by next week and that shorelines face a safety risk because of reduced Coast Guard capabilities.
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