Partial government shutdown begins after lawmakers fail to reach budget agreement

By Brandon Reid
Senior Assistant Editor

More than 700,000 U.S. government workers face unpaid leave after Congress failed to pass a budget for next year prior to the midnight deadline Sept. 30.

The partial shutdown comes after Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives failed to reach an agreement on a budget for next year.

Republicans are refusing to pass any budget that funds the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” while President Barack Obama (D) has said he would veto any spending plan that would defund the Affordable Care Act.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., issued the following statement Oct. 1:

Tonight, the Washington political games reached new heights as some in Congress put partisanship over the people they were elected to represent and forced a shutdown of the government.

Reasonable lawmakers of both parties, governors across the country, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with hundreds of other business organizations, supported a Senate-passed bill that would have averted a government shutdown,” Bustos said. “Unfortunately, radical ideology won the day, and this common-sense solution never got a vote.

Since the day I was sworn into office, I have been committed to working with those I disagree with,” Bustos continued. “I still believe that we can find a reasonable path forward that we can all agree on, but it will require some of my stubborn colleagues to drop their political grandstanding, come together, and put the country first for a change.”

A press release from Bustos’ office also added: “Tonight, the President signed into law the Bustos-supported measure that ensures our troops continue to receive pay during a government shutdown.

Last month, Bustos led a group of 37 members of the U.S. House of Representatives in calling for veterans to be protected in the event of a politically-induced government shutdown. In a letter sent to President Obama, Bustos and her colleagues requested that the president protect the benefits and resources our nation has promised to our veterans by deeming certain U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees as ‘essential’ in the event that Congress fails to come together and prevent a government shutdown.”

Meantime, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., issued the following statement Sept. 29 after the House of Representative passed, with Kinzinger’s support, a continuing resolution that would fund the federal government at current levels, while delaying for one year funding of the Affordable Care Act.

Through a bipartisan vote, the House has given Senate Democrats another chance to do what a majority of hardworking Americans want: give every American the same one-year delay from the burdens of Obamacare that the Obama administration gave to big businesses,” Kinzinger said. “With new delays, glitches and confusion each week, Democrats should welcome this opportunity to prevent this train wreck of a law from taking effect next week.

Additionally, the House overwhelmingly passed legislation that ensures our men and women in uniform get paid — no matter what,” Kinzinger added. “It is now up to the Senate to ensure that our warriors and their families do not fear for their livelihood because of gridlock in Washington.”

Sept. 20, a resolution that would have funded the federal government through Dec. 15 passed the U.S. House 230-189. However, the resolution called for eliminating all funding for the Affordable Care Act. The portion of the resolution defunding the Affordable Care Act was struck down in the Democratically-led U.S. Senate, where 67 votes are required to override a presidential veto. The Senate is composed of 52 Democrats, 46 Republicans and two Independents.

Posted Oct. 1, 2013

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