Government Shutdown Update
October 4, 2013—I’m writing with an important update on the federal government shutdown, and also to inform you of the rescheduling of October campaign events due to the situation in Washington.
There’s a lot I could say about the needless shutting down of our nation’s government and the Tea Party extremists who orchestrated it. But the best descriptions come from inside House Republican ranks where some are starting to realize that this stunt is not only damaging and irresponsible, it’s pointless—it won’t succeed in repealing the Affordable Care Act. Conservative Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Visalia) said his GOP colleagues were behaving like “lemmings with suicide vests.”
Rather than just talk about how wrongheaded the government shutdown is, I want to tell you three things I’m doing to help end it —to get our government back to work for the American people. First, I’m meeting and strategizing every day with colleagues who want to re-open our government – not just Democrats, but a growing number of Republicans. We now have 21 Republicans publicly expressing their support for the Senate’s “clean” government funding bill – enough to join with House Democrats and end the shutdown. We could do this in one hour if GOP leadership would simply allow a vote! I’m working to grow this common sense coalition until Speaker Boehner has no choice but to let Democracy work in the House and allow a vote.
Second, I’m co-sponsoring a bill introduced today to break through the Republican leadership’s obstruction and force a vote through a procedure called “discharge petition.” This procedure takes several days, but if a majority of House Members sign-on the vote on this bill (H. Res. 372) could happen by October 14th – even if it is opposed by Republican leadership.
Finally, I’m speaking out in every way I can to keep up the pressure for an honest vote in the House to end this mess. We are making progress as more House Republicans are breaking ranks with the Tea Party and supporting our call for a clean vote. Pressure will increase each day as we get closer to the October 17th debt ceiling deadline. While some of the Tea Party faction really want the nation to default on our debt, the overwhelming majority of people – and I believe a majority of Republicans in Congress – understand the terrible economic consequences of a default. I believe the reality of the situation will force members of Congress to come to their senses.
Given the seriousness and demands of this situation, I amrescheduling my October campaign events including the“Bounty of the North Bay” that was set for next weekend. Thank you to all who have sponsored or bought tickets to this event, which will now happen on Sunday, November 3rd. And thank you for understanding that at this critical time with the
government shut down, I need to be in Washington working every day to resolve the situation.
As always, I value your support and friendship.
P.S. The government shutdown is already having real negative impacts on peoples’ lives. I believe working with the President, the Senate, and a growing coalition of Democrats and sensible Republicans in the House is the fastest and most responsible way to pass a government funding bill that gets all of our federal employees back to work— with back pay. But I welcome your ideas and feedback. If you have thoughts about how to end the government shutdown, feel free to share them with me by clicking here.