CR and Obamacare

While I am relieved the Senate proposal to end the government shutdown allowed the country to pay its bills, kept agreed upon spending levels and required people to verify their income when seeking subsidies under Obamacare, it did not go far enough in solving our financial crisis to win my support.

During the 16 day shutdown, the House offered proposal after proposal to end the government shutdown, and give the American people the same exemptions from Obamacare that the President gave to his allies and members of Congress.

The Senate and the President refused to negotiate with the House on any of these proposals, prolonging the government shutdown, driving us to the brink of default, and making this whole situation as painful as possible for political gain.

I remain committed to making sure America doesn’t default on our debts, but believe we must cut up the credit card and find ways to grow our economy first. We are the greatest nation in the world and defaulting on our debts threatens that standing. But instead of identifying long-term ways to decrease spending, the plan passed protects the status quo in Washington. That’s what disappointed me about the proposal, and that’s why I ultimately could not support it.

We got into this mess because no measure to keep the government funded was signed into law by the President, despite all the proposals we in the House passed. Beginning on September 20th, my colleagues and I in the House voted to keep the government running by passing 4 different Continuing Resolutions (CRs) – including one that funded the entire government, including Obamacare, at agreed upon levels. Here are the bills we passed and actions we took in the House to keep the government running:

1)      H.J. Res. 59, the “Continuing Resolution for FY2014” : Keeps the government running at current spending levels but strengthens our economy by defunding Obamacare. Passed the House on September 20 by a bipartisan vote of 230-189, with 2 Democrats voting in support.

2)      H.J. Res. 59, the “Continuing Resolution for FY2014” (Amended) : Keeps the government running at current spending levels, delays implementation of Obamacare by one year and permanently repeals Obamacare’s burdensome tax on pacemakers and children’s hearing aids: something that a large majority of Americans and Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle support. Amendment #1 passed the House on September 28 by a bipartisan vote of 248-174, with 17 Democrats voting in support. Amendment #2 passed the House on September 28 by a bipartisan vote of 231-192, with 2 Democrats voting in support.

3)     H.J. Res. 59, the “Continuing Resolution for FY2014” : Keeps the entire government running at current spending levels and includes funding of Obamacare (which was a difficult vote for me because I believe Obamacare is the biggest hindrance to economic growth we face and a huge government overreach). The only thing this CR changed, in current law, was to require Congress, the President and high-level government officials to be subject to Obamacare, and that those individuals who did not want to purchase coverage under Obamacare did not have to for one year. This is the same exemption the President gave big business. Passed the House on September 30 by a bipartisan vote of 228-201with 9 Democrats voting in support, and now sits in the Senate.

4)      H. Res. 368, the “Continuing Resolution for FY2014” : Continues to fund the government running at current spending levels, ensures there’s no special treatment for members of Congress under Obamacare, delays Obamacare’s individual mandate for one year to provide all Americans with the same relief the President has given big business through delaying the employer mandate, and requests a formal House-Senate conference with conferees from both chambers to resolve the differences between the budget measures. Passed the House on September 30 by a bipartisan vote of 228-199, with 7 Democrats voting in support, and now sits in the Senate.