Dozens of teens stormed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office Thursday morning, urging him to come to an agreement with congressional Republicans to stave off a partial shutdown of the federal government.
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Over two dozen young people affiliated with the Sunrise Movement, a youth climate justice group, occupied the speaker’s office around 11 a.M. Carrying signs that said “The GOP hates Gen Z” and “Climate action not shutdowns.”.
Some of the teens were arrested, one of the protest’s organizers told USA TODAY. Brianna Burch, a spokesperson for the U.S. Capitol Police, confirmed in an email that 18 people were arrested Thursday morning in the Rayburn House Office Building after refusing to stop illegally demonstrating.
“We are demanding that Kevin McCarthy and the GOP not move forward with the government shutdown because the climate crisis is actively raging outside of our windows,” Adah Crandall, a 17-year-old organizer from Portland, Oregon, told USA TODAY. “The GOP has blood on its hands.”.
A government shutdown, the teens said, could have drastic effects on parts of the country prone to natural disasters. The Federal Emergency Management Administration has already started rationing relief funds. A shutdown, which is only looking increasingly likely as McCarthy struggles to negotiate with the right flank of his conference, would also pause federal flood insurance relief — not to mention the federal safety-net benefits that would disappear for millions of Americans, including those in regions of the U.S. That have been most affected by climate change.
More:Updates on the impending government shutdown: How does it affect you? Everything to know.
“Shutting down the government is exactly the opposite of what we need to be doing,” Crandall said.
The speaker’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Zachary Schermele is a breaking news and education reporter for USA TODAY. You can reach him by email at [email protected]. Follow him on X at @ZachSchermele.