WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement after House Republicans refused to take action on a clean government funding bill before the end of the fiscal year, resulting in the first government shutdown in 17 years:
“By shutting down the United States government, House Republicans have proven that they are willing to follow through on their threats to the prosperity and security of our nation – and cause hundreds of thousands of middle-class workers to be furloughed immediately – all in the name of a pointless attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act. That Act remains the law of our land and has been upheld by the Supreme Court, and it is already being implemented to the benefit of millions of Americans. Republicans will now see that their blatant act of political hostage-taking, aimed at subverting the democratic process in our country, has real-world consequences.
“After refusing to work with Democrats to reach a reasonable compromise for the past several months, and following a number of wasted opportunities to set their partisan games aside and prevent a shutdown, House Republicans have failed to do the most basic job they were elected to do and on which they campaigned: to work in a bipartisan way to keep the government running and improve the way it works for the American people. Now, the only path forward is for those responsible for this shutdown to abandon their reckless strategy of pushing for the repeal, defunding, or delay of the Affordable Care Act at any cost to our country. Instead, they must allow for a vote on the clean, compromise funding measure that the Senate has already passed three times.
“I urge Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, and their Republican Members to end their shutdown by working with Democrats to pass a clean funding bill that gives us the time we need to craft a longer term budget agreement. We must do so quickly and deliberately.”