Brindisi talks shutdown at White House


U.S. Rep. Anthony J. Brindisi, D-22, Utica, was among seven Democrats in the bi-partisan Problem Solvers congressional caucus to meet Wednesday with President Donald Trump regarding to partial federal-government shutdown.

Brindisi termed it a “productive conversation” afterward.

“Both sides listened to each other, and we believe there is a way forward,” he said in a statement. “First things first: we must reopen the government. Our security, our safety, and our economy is at stake.”

The group released a statement saying they met with Trump in the White House Situation Room regarding the shutdown. Others were Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Thomas Suozzi of Long Island, Vincente Gonzalez of Texas, Dean Phillips of Minnesota, Max Rose of Staten Island and Brooklyn, and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia.

They released this statement ahead of their White House meeting:

“Over the last weeks, we have been listening to our constituents and speaking with our fellow Members of Congress — in both parties and in both chambers. There is strong agreement across the aisle and around the country: We must reopen the government.  Our security, safety, and economy have been compromised, and millions of families are suffering.

“There is also strong agreement that if we reopen the government, the possibility exists to work together and find common ground to tackle some of our country’s toughest problems and fix them. But that conversation can only begin in earnest once the government is reopened. We accepted the White House’s invitation to meet today to convey that message.”

Brindisi’s 22nd District has a plurality of Republicans by voter registration, 42 percent to 35 percent, and voted for Trump in 2016.

He defeated pro-Trump Republican first-term congresswoman Claudia Tenney in November by about 4,000 votes in a race settled only after absentee ballots were counted.

On Monday, Brindisi came home to the district to call for support for bi-partisan House measures and companion Senate bills to re-open government with negotiations to continue over immigration issues. He said he supports strong border security and a physical barrier where it would make sense.

On Thursday, Brindisi was named to two committees: Agriculture and Veterans’ Affairs. The committee assignments were announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California.


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