For the first time since I have been in Congress, the government has been shut down because the fiscal year ended and no funding had been approved to keep it open beginning today at 12:01AM.
Both the House and the Senate passed budgets, but the Senate’s version had a much higher dollar amount. The differences in the two budgets were never reconciled, so we had to use a tool to keep the government open and funded. The tool we used is called a Continuing Resolution or “CR,” which was passed by the House with a provision that defunded Obamacare.
The Senate accepted our lower spending number, but rejected defunding Obamacare.
We then revised our CR and changed defunding to delaying Obamacare for one year, knowing that the Administration had already delayed many parts of Obamacare, but the Senate rejected our proposal again.
Late last night, House leadership put forth a third proposal having to do with Obamacare. The Administration has delayed the employer mandate, so we added a delay on the individual mandate. The Administration has admitted that many of the parts of Obamacare related to the individual mandate don’t work or aren’t ready. Yet the Senate rejected this proposal also.
We also offered what should happen when there are differences –have the House and Senate meet to hammer out the differences we have. Again, the Senate, led by Harry Reid, said no to even talking to the House.
There are 800,000 federal employees on unpaid leave in the nation. There are more than 25,000 federal employees in District 12 and many of them are facing unpaid leave today.
This shutdown leaves employees without pay, shuts down our national parks, potentially stalls new Social Security and Medicare enrollments, shuts down e-verify systems so employers can’t check the legal immigration status of prospective employees, impacts veteran disability benefits and pensions, and more.
I worked to find a solution to problems that would keep the government open. So did other Members of Congress. I have worked out many problems throughout my time in politics, but you can’t negotiate agreements when the other party just says, “No.”
I will keep you updated as this shutdown persists and continue to seek solutions. That is what you elected me to do, and that is what I will do.
Member of Congress