Shutdown: What your reps are saying
Friday, October 4, 2013
When Congress failed to pass a budget by Monday’s fiscal year deadline, a partial government shutdown began, sending about 800,000 federal employees home without a paycheck for as long as the shutdown lasts.
Both the House and Senate passed a continuing resolution, or short-term budget, to keep the government running, but each rejected the other’s version of the resolution.
The House’s version includes a provision that would delay the start of several pieces of the Affordable Health Care Act, a law passed and signed in 2009. The Senate’s version does not interfere with the health care law.
Without agreement by the House and the Senate, the resolution did not pass, and the government shutdown began.
The Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” began on schedule, on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Those without health insurance can sign up on the new exchange at www.healthcare.gov.
Here are a few things Bedford’s members of Congress had to say about the shutdown.
Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter
“In a reckless attempt to obstruct the new health care law and extract an ideological laundry list of demands, House Republicans have shut down the federal government,” said Democratic Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter in a statement released Tuesday, the day the shutdown began. “These tea party tactics are harmful to the economy and they are an unacceptable way to govern. ... I have been very clear that I am willing to work with anyone to improve the Affordable Care Act, but I will not dismantle the health care law in exchange for funding the government. Funding the government is not a negotiating point. It’s Congress’ responsibility.”
Shea-Porter voted against the House bill to continue government funding but delay implementation of the health care law.
Senator Kelly Ayotte
In the Senate, Republican Kelly Ayotte voted to approve the House version of the resolution, which failed to pass the Senate.
“Although I fully support defunding, repealing and replacing Obamacare, I voted for cloture – to move forward with the House bill – because I do not believe shutting down the government is an effective strategy, it simply won’t work,” Ayotte said in a Sept. 27 statement.
“Obamacare would keep going and we would harm the nation. ... This is no way to run a government, with short-term spending bills rather than a fiscally responsible budget for the nation. With over $17 trillion in debt, we must find a way to fund worthy priorities without busting the budget, and I will continue my efforts to do so. As this bill returns to the House, I hope we can resolve these issues and keep the government running.”
Senator Jeanne Shaheen
Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen voted to approve the Senate version of the continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 59), which passed the Senate by a vote of 54-44.
“I share the frustration people in New Hampshire have with the obstructionism that has run rampant in Washington and has driven us closer and closer to a government shutdown. For several months a small group in Congress has refused to go to conference on a budget that responsibly addresses our spending and deficits, leaving us to address critical spending issues at the last minute. ... The consequences of a government shutdown are very real and we can’t afford to hurt our fragile economic recovery.
“... Ultimately, we need a comprehensive deficit reduction plan so that we can avoid these manufactured crises and keep our economy growing.”