Federal legislators whose jurisdiction includes Wayne and Pike Counties, PA, issued the following statements about ending the government shutdown.
••• Congressman Tom Marino (R-10th District):
"I cannot support this short-term fix that does nothing but kick the can farther down the road"
Washington, D.C. – Tonight [Oct. 16], after continued refusals from the Senate to negotiate with House Republicans, the House passed legislation to reopen the federal government though January 15, 2014 and extend the Treasury Department's borrowing authority through February 7, 2014.
"We were asked to support a bill that does nothing to address out of control spending," U.S. Representative Tom Marino (PA-10) said. "It does nothing the address the nearly $17 trillion we have racked up in national debt and it does nothing to reverse the train wreck that is Obamacare."
"I cannot support this short-term fix that does nothing but kick the can farther down the road," he added.
A last minute deal struck by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came weeks after House Republicans redoubled their efforts to rein in out-of-control spending, reverse the path that led to an ever-expanding national debt and protect Americans from a healthcare law that will raise taxes and destroy jobs.
"House Republicans were listening to our constituents back home. We pursued a reasonable approach to negotiate with the Senate and the President to find a solution that worked for all Americans," Marino said.
Prior to the partial government shutdown, which went into effect on October 1, the House passed three continuing resolutions to fund the government – each one compromising more than the previous offer. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected each offer, including a bill to go to conference and negotiate.
After the Senate's inaction resulted in a partial government shutdown, the House continued to pass narrow bills to continue funding for critical programs and services.
"We sent the Senate nearly twenty bills to lessen the impact of the partial shutdown and even convinced the President to sign a bill ensuring pay for active duty military members," Marino said.
Again, Harry Reid refused to even consider most of these bills.
"Make no mistake, House Republicans lost this battle," Marino said, "however, I was sent to Washington cut spending, downsize Washington, and keep taxes low for all Americans. The backdoor deal stuck by leaders in the Senate accomplishes none of this. Nevertheless, the war is far from over."
While virtually all Republicans – even those who questioned this approach – agree that Obamacare will only lead to higher taxes and fewer jobs, Marino added that both parties must unite and commit to never shutdown down the federal government again.
"Going forward, the President's healthcare law will fail on its own," Marino said, "Americans will speak in greater numbers if they want to be freed from the burdens of Obamacare. When the American people speak loud enough, and Democrats are finally willing to work with Republicans to enact comprehensive healthcare reform that actually lowers the cost of insurance coverage, we will be ready to listen."
Page 2 of 2 - Marino vowed to move forward on other priorities – lowering taxes, cutting spending, downsizing the federal government, creating jobs, and achieving energy independence. "House Republicans can develop a positive agenda for the coming year," Marino said.
"Until public opposition to the President's agenda results in a Senate willing to negotiate and compromise, the Republican-led House will continue to be a check against wasteful spending, tax hikes and the burdensome regulations this administration will surely look to impose on hardworking, middle class Americans across the country."
••• US Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)
Casey Statement on Senate Vote to Reopen Government and Avoid Default
Washington DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the below statement following the Senate's vote to reopen the government and avoid default:
"I am grateful that the Senate was able to move forward with a bipartisan agreement to reopen the government and avoid default. Pennsylvanians deserve better than the irresponsible brinksmanship they saw over the last few weeks. I hope this experience will help change the tone in Washington and that members on both sides of the aisle will refocus their efforts on creating jobs and strengthening the economy. I intend to work immediately to push bipartisan legislation to help middle class families like my Small Business Tax Certainty and Growth Act."
••• US Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Sen Toomey favors reopening government, but not raising debt limits without reforms
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today voted against increasing America's debt burden because the legislation does nothing whatsoever to address the overspending problem that has caused our debt to mount.
"The one major redeeming aspect of this bill is that it reopens the government," said Senator Toomey. "I disagreed with the plan to make funding the government contingent on defunding Obamacare and I am glad this bill will get the shutdown behind us. But I cannot support piling hundreds of billions of dollars of debt on current and future generations of Americans without even a sliver of reform to start putting our fiscal house in order."