Statement from Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, on the End of the Government Shutdown

While the National Urban League and our 95 affiliates are relieved that a bipartisan agreement was reached to reopen the government and avoid a debt default, this is no cause for celebration.  We remain disappointed that the partisan dysfunction in Washington resulted in an avoidable and reckless government shutdown and brought us to the brink of a financial disaster.  We urge elected leaders to now return to their duty to govern on behalf of all Americans, especially those acutely impacted by the shut-down --  including the working poor, unemployed, middle class and small businesses.  As importantly, we urge them to work diligently, responsibly and collaboratively moving forward to avoid a recurrence of this situation in the future.

The Urban League applauds President Obama for standing resolute in his determination to fight for affordable and accessible healthcare options for uninsured Americans.  We commend the efforts of Senators and Members of Congress in both parties who remained focused on the critical issues:  putting federal employees back to work, getting vital government programs and services back online, and stemming the soaring costs of the estimated $24 billion shutdown.

As our nation’s leaders turn back to the business of governing, Americans are still faced with the impact of the costly shutdown and existing sequester cuts that continue to hurt already-vulnerable communities across the country.  We urge our leaders to seize this opportunity to put the country back on track by ending the sequester and implementing a thoughtful and balanced budget that avoids ongoing cuts to much-needed programs that assist millions of Americans each year.  Through these programs, on-the-ground, direct-service organizations like the Urban League are able to empower individuals and communities through the dignity of a good job, affordable housing, and quality education and healthcare options -- necessities which should be available to all Americans.