Pelosi: Shutdown is hurting vets 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food Andrew Yang condemns attacks against Asian Americans Congress in lockdown: Will we just 'get used to it'? MORE (D-Calif.) is trying to hit President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food MORE where it hurts in the shutdown debate by highlighting its impact on veterans who are federal workers and not getting paid.

“Our veterans are very adversely affected by this. If we want to support our veterans, we will not hurt their credit rating. And that’s what missing a mortgage, a rental payment, a car payment and the rest does to everyone’s credit rating,” Pelosi said at an event Wednesday morning with a group of furloughed federal workers on Capitol Hill.


Pelosi also warned that the prolonged shutdown could affect the United States' credit rating.

Earlier in the day, James McCormack, the head of sovereign ratings at Fitch, warned that the nation’s triple-A credit rating could be downgraded if the shutdown lasts into March.

“How irresponsible in that regard,” Pelosi said. 

Trump considers military veterans one of his core pillars of support and promised to take care of them during the 2016 campaign. While the military is already funded, veterans working for a number of other federal agencies have been affected by the shutdown.

The administration has also sought to tamp down on the affects of the three-week shutdown on other areas, such as food stamp benefits through the Department of Agriculture.

Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerLawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food Ron Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra MORE (N.Y.) appeared on Capitol Hill on Wednesday after conducting a joint response to a prime-time address from Trump the previous night when he urged money for his proposed border wall in order to reopen the government.

The Democratic leaders said Wednesday that they are committed to border security but asked that government agencies be reopened while talks continue.

“We all want to evaluate what the threat is at the border. We all are committed to strong border security. We have suggested ways to do that,” Pelosi said. 

Schumer backed her up on that point.

“We all want border security. There are different views on how to get there. But to hold these people hostage instead of just letting them do their jobs, which they want to do, while we work out our differences — so wrong,” he said, pointing to essential federal workers who have had to stay on the job without pay since the shutdown began on Dec. 22.

Pelosi said Democratic leaders have been negotiating with Trump and senior White House officials but complained “the White House seems to move the goal posts every time they come with a proposal.”

“Pretty soon these goal posts won’t even be in the stadium,” she said. “What we want to say to them is if we can come to some agreement, we want it in writing so the public can see it so it doesn’t change.” 

But Schumer said “it’s much harder to achieve a good negotiation while the government’s shutdown.” 

“The first order of business — we’ll continue to negotiate — the first order of business [is] open up the government,” he added.