BRIDGEPORT – Today, just days before congressional Republicans could potentially shut down the U.S. government, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representative Jim Himes (CT-4) visited 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. During their visit, Murphy and Himes warned that if Republicans move forward with a government shutdown this week, funding for fourteen ABCD programs across the city will be delayed, threatening services for 1,200 children. ABCD is scheduled to receive renewed federal funding on Oct. 1, 2015.

Murphy, a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, said, “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. 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. 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.”

“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,” said Himes. “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.”