Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) released the following statement this morning following votes last night in which Congress failed to pass a stopgap spending plan, triggering the first government shutdown in 17 years.
“Sometimes the morning after the game, it becomes clear that neither team played well the night before.That’s the way many Americans must feel as they review the actions of Congress. Unfortunately, this is not a game and the poor play of both political parties is impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans,” said Forbes.“We must fight to return reason and analysis to the process of governing and once again find a way to talk with one another to find the common ground necessary to rebuild our national defense, restore our fiscal integrity, and return stability to our Nation.I'm committed to working with any Member of Congress towards these ends.”
Forbes voted last night to support the third measure in 11 days to provide stopgap funding for the federal government. This latest measure required the President, Vice President, and political appointees, to join Members of Congress and all congressional staff, in obtaining health insurance through the health care exchanges and eliminated any employer contribution to the health insurance plans these individuals would be required to purchase. This morning, the Senate voted 54-46 to reject a motion to go to conference with the House to negotiate differences in the legislative proposals, marking the third time in 24 hours the Senate has rejected an overture from the House related to avoiding a government shutdown.
While nonessential staff members in Forbes’ office are being furloughed, his offices will remain open and staffed by essential staff whose responsibility it is to ensure constituents have a voice in the legislative process. Phones in his office will be on an extended operating schedule, open 7am-7pm, until Congress resolves the funding impasse.
To learn more about the implications of a government shutdown, the following resources are available to constituents:
· “What to Shutdown. What to Protect”: Congressman Forbes’ solutions to a government shutdown
· Frequently Asked Questions: Government Shutdown – What You Need to Know
· Office of Personnel Management (OPM):The Potential Impact of a Lapse In Appropriations on Federal Employees
· Congressional Research Service (CRS):Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects
· Congressional Research Service (CRS):Reaching the Debt Limit: Background and Potential Effects on Government Operations
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