Woman are taken by Border Patrol for immigration processing. Photo by Chris Stone
Woman are taken by Border Patrol for immigration processing. Photo by Chris Stone

Rep. Scott Peters warned Wednesday that a looming government shutdown amid a Republican Party squabble will leave San Diego’s Navy and Marine Corps service members and thousands of federal employees unpaid.

The right-wing Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives has opposed funding the government after Sept. 30, calling instead for major spending cuts, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has refused to allow a bipartisan funding vote.

“A government shutdown is nothing more than a cruel political stunt that would hurt San Diegans and is in fact very fiscally irresponsible,” said Peters. “San Diego families shouldn’t be forced to pay the price for a few extreme House Republicans’ outlandish demands.”

“This avoidable shutdown would force troops to work without pay, harm small businesses, risk air travel disruptions, and endanger access to food assistance for vulnerable families,” said the Democrat who represents coastal San Diego County. “There are approximately 64,500 civilian federal employees in San Diego who, along with our uniformed servicemembers, will have their livelihoods directly threatened.”

Peters released figures showing that over 213,000 active duty and reserve military personnel in California would be forced to work without pay during a shutdown, and that nearly 188,000 federal workers across the state who would either be furloughed or required to continue without pay.

“The hypocrisy of some Republicans is unbelievable,” he said. “They claim to care about border security, but their demands include cuts to Customs and Border Patrol, and our CBP officers and Coast Guard servicemembers will go unpaid during a shutdown.”

The Senate has passed a bipartisan funding resolution, but McCarthy has vowed not to allow a vote on it in the House, where a combination of centrist Republicans and Democrats could pass it.

Freedom Caucus members are demanding lower overall spending that McCarthy agreed to with President Biden earlier this year, more border wall construction, restrictions on the role of the Justice Department and FBI, and no more support for Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.

Former President Trump has urged Republicans to proceed with a shutdown, saying that unless they “get everything,” lawmakers should “shut it down.”

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.