The Pryor Times

October 12, 2013

Oklahomans take a direct hit from federal government shutdown

PRYOR, OK — OKLAHOMA CITY- The federal shutdown impacts Oklahomans directly, said Rep. David Perryman, D-Chickasha, pointing to a number of issues facing individuals, businesses and municipalities in his legislative district.

“This is not a game,” said Perryman. “The elected officials behind this impasse have a responsibility to act like adults and not play with the lives and finances of the people I represent. Shutting down the federal government is foolish, it is dangerous and it is irresponsible.”

Perryman said that the ideological battle threatens national security.

“Municipalities in Oklahoma are required, with no exception, to use the federal eVerify system when hiring employees,” said Perryman. “The shutdown has rendered that system inoperable. Municipalities are being forced to either defer employing police, fire and other employees or break the law and hire without verification of qualifications or citizenship. If a municipality leaves positions unfilled, that endangers critical public works and law enforcement service. If the municipality hires without verification, they could be hiring the very people that the eVerify system is designed to bar. Either way, the state, our counties and our cities are at risk.”

Perryman expressed hope that cooler heads would prevail, but warned of the long term impact of the shutdown.

“If an agreement is not reached within the next two to three weeks, the U.S. will default on the national debt and consequently we will find the government being required to pay higher interest rates,” said Perryman. “Enough of the federal budget is already consumed by interest payments and a default in this growing but unsteady economy could push us back into recession. Let’s hope that Congress is not so far out of touch with reality that they flirt with that risk while attempting to gain political points.

“Congressional arrogance has led to the shutdown of the federal government,” said Perryman. “No political party should be permitted to hold Americans hostage while fighting a partisan and ideological battle.

“My constituents are calling and they are mad,” Perryman continued. “They are mad because Congress is being paid and federal employees are not. They are mad because they are being furloughed but are still required to pay day care expenses.”

“This is happening all over the country, to veterans, to National Guard members who aren’t receiving services,” said Perryman. “Clearly, Congress didn’t think of the implications of their intransigence for everyday Americans before digging in their heels. This shutdown of the federal government has direct consequences beyond federal agencies and harms the day-to-day operations of businesses around the country. We deserve better from our elected representatives.”