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Murphy, Himes Warn That Government Shutdown Threatens Head Start Kids

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy hugs one of the kids during a visit Monday to a Head Start classroom in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Contributed
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy visit with the kids at ABCD in Bridgeport on Monday. Photo Credit: Contributed
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy talks with one of the teachers at the Head Start classroom at ABCD in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Contributed

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Days before Congressional Republicans could potentially shut down the federal government, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes visited a Head Start classroom in Bridgeport to call attention to the potential impact of a shutdown.

During their visit, Murphy and Himes warned that if a government shutdown happens, funding for 14 programs across Bridgeport will be delayed, threatening services for 1,200 children.

Action for Bridgeport Community Development Inc. (ABCD) via Head Start – a federally funded program that provides free meals, medical services, and early learning opportunities to low-income Bridgeport children.

ABCD is scheduled to receive renewed federal funding on Oct. 1.

“Right now, Republicans in the House and the Senate are playing politics with the lives of 1,200 kids here in Bridgeport whose Head Start program will be suspended if the government shuts down," said Murphy, a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee.

"This is about little kids – 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds, 5-year-olds – who won’t get an education. It’s about their parents who may have to stay home from work and possibly lose their jobs in order to take care of their children. It’s about the 300 workers who will be furloughed for days – if not longer – without a paycheck."

He slammed the impact of a shutdown.

"There are real world consequences affecting real people when it comes to a government shutdown, and there is absolutely no justification for it. ABCD via Head Start is an amazing program that we’ve got to make sure stays open and operating.”

Himes also blasted the potential shutdown.

“We’ve been jumping from crisis to crisis for years now, so no one can be surprised that Tea Party extremists have once again taken us to the edge,” he said.

“Some members of Congress get so caught up in the politics that they don’t see the real harm that is caused by the constant flirtation with shutdown, default and disaster.

"Senator Murphy and I came to Head Start today to highlight this vital program, which is damaged by this continued uncertainty and is at risk of shutting its doors. These children really and truly rely on this program, and it would be a terrible tragedy if Washington’s dysfunction closed ABCD.”

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