Utah Delegation Responds to Federal Government Shutdown

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Effective at 10 PM, the United States Federal Government shut down all “Non-essential” services. With this in mind, several statements have been released by Utah’s federal delegation. Here are their words:

Representative Rob Bishop (Republican – 1st District) – September 28

“I wish we were passing a bicamerally agreed upon budget today instead of yet another short-term continuing resolution. As long as Senator Reid continues to stymie the budget process, we have no choice but to pass emergency stop gap measures that keep the government running. This bill also addresses the reality that few Americans are ready for the implementation of one of the most intrusive and expensive policies to have ever been signed into law. Additionally, it repeals the medical device tax that is forcing companies to hire workers outside of the United States, killing jobs in Utah and many other states. Even the President has acknowledged that there are serious problems with Obamacare, which is why he has unilaterally implemented delays of certain parts of the law. It’s troubling that in light of this, and the many problems emerging about the law, he has issued a veto threat of this continuing resolution. History illustrates that this type of governance does not result in a successful and thriving country. As George Santayana noted in his work, The Life of Reason, ‘those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Representative Chris Stewart (Republican – 2nd District) – September 30

“Like the American people, I want to keep the government open and operational. But President Obama and the democratic senate leadership have refused to talk with us.  The majority of the nation and Utahns want to repeal and defund Obamacare, one of the most destructive and expensive laws ever passed. This is an important and necessary fight. If Obamacare is implemented, it will come with a $1.3 trillion price tag, paid for by increased health premiums and taxes—increased costs that hard working American families simply can’t afford. House Republicans have repeatedly come to the table to negotiate. I wish the President and Harry Reed would do the same.”

Representative Jason Chaffetz (Republican – 3rd District) – September 30

“Were trying to work [out a deal], we are passing stuff out, but [the Senate] is taking us to the finish line; that’s what their doing…The United States Senate needs to make adjustments as they see fit and send it back to us (the US House).

I think a delay in [Obamacare] is a reasonable expectation, I believe the Obama administration, unilaterally, and multiple times over the last several months, cherry-picked which parts their going to delay, its not ready…[I can not] disregard all of my voters and all of the promises I made in how I got elected…there were a lot of people in 2010 who were elected on this issue, and to just say ‘forget about that because of President Obama’s election’ – we can’t do that. There got to be some respect that we too were elected, and the majority of the people that serve in the House of Representatives are Republicans because the Obamacare law that was pass was so reprehensible [voters] swept the Democrats out and put Republicans in.”

Representative Jim Matheson (Democrat – 4th District) – October 1

“For the first time in 17 years, our government is shut down due to partisan bickering over spending. Tonight the leadership of both parties allowed political games to stand in the way of keeping our government open for business.

Again today I voted for two provisions: one, to remove the Member of Congress and staff exemption from Obamacare, and two, to delay Obamacare’s individual mandate for one year.  I accepted these specific provisions because I support the policies.

However, my top priority, and where our attention should be focused, is to keep the government operating. I am disappointed that the leadership of the House of Representatives lost sight of what should have been a straight up or down vote on a funding bill. Now more than ever, it is critically important that we work together in the name of getting things done.”

Senator Orrin Hatch (Republican) – October 1

“This is a dark moment in our nation’s history, and Utahns have every right to be disappointed in their government,” Hatch said. “The fact is that Senate Democrats failed to take common sense action to fund the government and change Obamacare to protect the American people. Republicans have listened to the American people who have been clear that they don’t think Obamacare is ready for primetime, and the House passed two pieces of legislation to fund the government while delaying the tax penalty for individuals, repealing the law’s requirement that everyone purchase health insurance, and to repeal the $31 million medical device tax. The Obama Administration has delayed parts of the health law six times, and Congress has voted to change it seven more times because the law’s a disaster. Now, ObamaCare is going live and state after state is saying they don’t have confidence that people’s privacy will be protected or that folks won’t be defrauded.  So why is it that the President can delay parts of ObamaCare, but Congress can’t? To not give individuals and hard-working families a reprieve from this disastrous law – the same treatment that employers have already been given by this White House – is nonsensical. That Senate Democrats shut down the government over listening to the American people is shameful.”

Senator Mike Lee (Republican) – Sept 30

“Senator Reid shouldn’t be allowed to negotiate by threatening to withhold payments to our military members.  The current fight in Washington is about whether or not Congress will act to protect the American people from Obamacare.  Our differences on that issue should not put at risk payments to our military.  They should be fully funded immediately.” 

The House passed the military pay bill unanimously on Saturday night.  Instead of reconvening the Senate on Sunday as some had called for, Senator Reid chose to wait until Monday afternoon to call the Senate back into session, increasing the possibility that the fight over Obamacare could put military pay in jeopardy. 


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