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Congressman O'Rourke releases statement on government shutdown
Washington, DC-- Congressman Beto O'Rourke released the following statement after the government shutdown on Tuesday:
"I am disappointed to report that the House tonight failed to take action to prevent a government shut-down. This is in an abdication of one of our most fundamental responsibilities to pay our bills and fund the government, said Congressman ORourke. Earlier today, the Senate sent the House a simple short-term funding bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR), which would keep government functioning through November 15th. This would prevent furloughs for thousands of El Pasoans, and protect services, including care for our veterans, that many in our community rely upon. I would have voted for this measure and believe it would have passed the House with a bipartisan majority. President Obama has said he would sign it. Unfortunately, the House Majority again brought forward a bill that attached unrelated changes to the Affordable Care Act, knowing that such a bill is dead on arrival in the Senate and would be vetoed by the President. I voted no.
Just hours later, the Senate once again voted to strip unrelated provisions from the CR and sent it back to the House. Again, Speaker Boehner and House leadership refused to allow this clean CR to come up for a vote, thereby ensuring that the government shuts down. Instead of allowing an up or down vote to resolve the situation, which I believe a bipartisan majority would support, the House leadership brought a bill to the floor at literally the 11th hour asking for a conference committee. Now is the time to keep the government open, not go to conference.
I will compromise to keep the government functioning. The level of the CR is already below what I think is reasonable and it maintains the sequester-levels that are harming our community through cuts to Fort Bliss, our education system, and other government functions. But I am willing to make that concession on a short term basis in order to avoid a shut-down. What I am not willing to do is attach unrelated measures to a must-pass funding bill, especially when it is clear those measures will not pass the Senate or be agreed to by the White House.
I ran for Congress because I want to solve problems. During the past week, I have met with Members of both parties. I have let my colleagues know the impacts that a shut-down will have on the people I represent. It is obvious that there is common ground between the two sides and I believe we are making progress. Tomorrow, I am scheduled to participate in more bipartisan meetings. I will keep working until we reach a resolution and will continue to report to you."