As promised, I will send you regular updates until this shutdown is over and we get the government running again, which I hope is soon.
Many of you have asked what this shutdown is all about. Some think it is all about Obamacare. Some think it is about the Continuing Resolution. It really is about spending. I have been told hundreds of times by my constituents that we have to stop spending what we don’t have and burdening our children and grandchildren with a debt they can never repay.
The Republican House passed a budget with significant cuts in spending. The bill I produced as Subcommittee Chair cut our spending by 24 percent, the highest of all the appropriations cuts.
The Democrat-led Senate passed a budget far exceeding the spending of the House. And, as you know, where there are differences in the House and Senate bills, they must be reconciled. That is not happening and it reached a crisis when our fiscal year ended with no agreement. That is what happened on October 1. The House asked for a conference and named conferees, but the Senate refused to meet. The President called the leaders of the House and Senate to the White House, but instead of trying to work out a solution, he brought them there to say that he would not negotiate.
I’ve helped work out many agreements as Mayor of Fort Worth and a Member of Congress, but you can’t negotiate when the other party won’t come to the table.
So, we are passing bills directing limited funding in areas we believe are vital and should be supported by the House, the Senate, and the Administration, including bills to:
- Pay our National Guard and Reserve forces in addition to the active-duty forces previously approved.
- Open our national parks - Yellowstone, Big Bend, and the National Mall have all been kept open in other shutdowns.
- Restart funding on lifesaving research for cancer and other serious diseases - many people’s lives are being threatened when funding is stopped.
- Emergency disaster recovery funding – this is especially important with Tropical Storm Karen headed toward the Gulf.
Perhaps the funding on these programs will begin a dialogue that will lead to agreements on the bigger funding. I will keep you informed.
Member of Congress