First diary, but have been a lurker here since 2006. I feel compelled to write after receiving this e-mail from my Congressman:
Thank you for contacting me with your views regarding the debt ceiling and the recent federal government shutdown. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
From the beginning I was adamantly opposed to a government shutdown, twice voting for legislation which would have funded the entire federal government and protected the American people from the impending disaster that is the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, these efforts were blocked by President Obama and the Democratically-controlled Senate, who refused to negotiate with the House of Representatives. Since Congress and the President failed to reach an agreement, the previous funding bill expired on September 30, 2013, and the federal government effectively shut down the following day.
After 16 days, Senate leadership reached an agreement, H.R. 2775, which funds the federal government until January 15, 2014, and raises the debt ceiling through February 7, 2014. Additionally, the bill provides retroactive pay for federal government employees furloughed during the shutdown, and requires income eligibility verification for those who apply for a premium tax credit and cost-sharing assistance under the Affordable Care Act. After passing both chambers of Congress, the President signed this bill into law on October 17, 2013, effectively ending the government shutdown.
While I did not take the situation lightly or make my decision easily, I ultimately chose to vote against the measure. Since H.R. 2775 does nothing to solve the underlying debt problem which faces our country or help protect the American people from the negative consequences of the Affordable Care Act, I could not in good faith support it. Furthermore, H.R. 2775 raised the debt ceiling while failing to make meaningful entitlement reforms, which are needed if we are ever to get our finances under control. Under current policies, the federal debt is projected to grow more quickly than GDP, leading observers to term it unsustainable. Over time, a greater and greater share of the national income will be devoted to simply servicing this debt, taking money away from all other federal programs. While there has been no difficulty financing the deficit to date, many believe that at some point, investors will become reluctant to continue to finance deficits that they believe are unsustainable.
Addressing our growing debt will require honest negotiations between the House and Senate with everyone at the table. It is time to make difficult decisions about our spending problem instead of kicking the can down the road any further. Going forward, I remain committed to reducing the debt, limiting the role of the federal government, and fixing the negative impacts the Affordable Care Act is placing on the American people and healthcare industry.
Again, thank you for giving me the benefit of your views. Please continue to keep me informed on any federal issues of importance to you.
Member of Congress
Here was my reply:
Your take on what happened is a far cry from the reality. ACA is not going to be repealed, just like Social Security and Medicare and once the benefits are obvious to "the American people", they will discover for themselves ACA is a good deal for everyone, such as having 26 yo on their parent's insurance. How many of your constituents have children that had to move back home after college because they could not find a job? Can't wait for the next cycle. I support candidates with both time and money. Frankly, as a new-comer to the OC, I was hoping for better from my congressman. We could all have a grown-up discussion about what is wrong with the current state of affairs, but you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. The rest of the world is looking at the USA with disgust, and yes, they hold the debt. Please be more reasonable when this all happens again in the next few months and don't forget there are others here in the OC that don't drive Lamborghinis or have lunch at Gulfstream.
I am outnumbered here by Republicans 3-1, which explains how this guy continues to be re-elected.
It is because of all the folks on this site that I still have a glimmer of hope. I read everything on a daily basis and have never seen such a collection of articulate, intellegent people that diary and post on this site. Thank you all.