The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 7, 2013

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey addresses government shutdown

The Daily Item

— WASHINGTON  - U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., make the following remarks on the Senate floor on Friday:

“It is time to end the recklessness and reopen this government. This has gone on long enough and Pennsylvanians are being hurt. As the government shutdown stretches from days into a week, I am appalled that Speaker Boehner refuses to hold a vote on a clean continuing resolution that will keep this government open.

“The Democrats have already compromised a great deal. In an effort to avoid the shutdown, we accepted some of the very difficult sequestration cuts in the continuing resolution. On Friday, September 27th—over a week ago—the Senate passed a clean bill to fund the government through November 15th.  This bill contains painful sequester level cuts and $70 billion in cuts from the FY 2013 enacted levels.

“But this isn’t enough for the Tea Party. They want more and have shutdown the government over implementation of the Affordable Care Act. It’s time for Speaker Boehner to just vote on a clean bill that can reopen the government. If Speaker Boehner put the Senate bill on the floor right now, it would pass with Republican and Democratic votes and this shutdown would be over.

“This shutdown is hurting my constituents and citizens across the country.

“I have heard from many constituents who may not be able to make their mortgage payments this month due to furloughs and from others who can’t close on homes because their federal loans are not being processed during a shutdown.  I want to read excerpts from just two of the letters I received.  

“The first letter states ‘Because of the government shutdown, my husband has been furloughed, and is now home without pay for nearly a week. Our mortgage payment is due next week and we are going to be short because of this. My family barely gets by as it is and we cannot afford to lose an entire week’s salary because of government tantrums over a health care bill…I cannot even begin to express how disappointed I am in our government and your lack of consideration for middle class families who are struggling…’  

“Another says ‘After searching for a house for over two years, we have finally found our home. We have gone through all the underwriting for our mortgage, and we only need the stamp from USDA. Unfortunately, since the government shutdown, USDA has closed. We were supposed to have settlement on October 11th, 2013. My husband…and I already put in our notices that we will be moving. This is absolutely unacceptable. Please help us in making our home, our home.

“This is what William Thien, commander in chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars wrote to leaders in Congress this week: ‘We expect more from our elected leadership, and not a piecemeal approach that would use the military or disabled veterans as leverage in a political game.’

“I agree.

“Every day that Speaker Boehner refuses to hold a vote on the Senate passed bill that will reopen the government causes more uncertainty and difficulty for citizens across the country.  It’s time for this Tea Party shutdown to end and for the House to just vote on the clean continuing resolution that will reopen the government.”