House GOP funds government while Obama plays politics
Last Monday, Sept. 30, Senate Democrats and the president once again refused to sit down and talk with House Republicans about the expiring funding for the federal government. After sending over three different continuing resolutions that would have averted the shutdown and a bill that would bring both sides to conference – a bipartisan, bicameral meeting that is traditionally used to resolve any disagreements between the House and the Senate – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) refused to negotiate. And as a result, the federal government has shut down for the first time in 17 years.
Since then, House Republicans have been ready and waiting for Senate Democrats and the president to come to the negotiating table and work with us to end this shutdown. Unfortunately, they continue to refuse to talk, with Senator Reid saying, “We are not going to negotiate.”
In the meantime, House Republicans have been passing small, noncontroversial appropriations bills to help keep critical programs up and running during the shutdown. These seven bills all passed the House with large bipartisan support.
Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats and the president have been working to thwart almost every attempt made that would lessen the impact of the shutdown.
More than 160 House Democrats voted against a bill that would ensure our nation’s veterans receive the benefits they have earned and the president has even threatened to veto legislation that would provide funding to the National Institute of Health (NIH) so they can continue to conduct life-saving drug trials.
However, all House Democrats voted in favor of legislation that would ensure all furloughed federal employees are paid – one day after 164 of them voted not to fund the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, also known as WIC.
Many are asking why Democrats in Washington are working against House Republicans’ efforts to reduce the worst of the hardships a shutdown can cause. Well, according to one senior Obama Administration official the reason they refuse to work to stop this shutdown or work with Republicans to help those affected by it, “We are winning ... It doesn’t really matter to us” how long the shutdown lasts.
So essentially, the White House would rather see our veterans, poor women and children, and even cancer-riddled kids suffer – as long as they get a political victory by blaming House Republicans for the shutdown in the press. It’s absolutely appalling.
While Senate Democrats and President Obama prefer to play politics in the media, House Republicans will continue to pass more of these small, noncontroversial bills to help reopen portions of the government. I can only hope that Senate Democrats will finally listen to the American people and start to work with House Republicans not only to pass these critical bills, but to also responsibly fund the federal government while also protecting the American people from the harms of Obamacare.
Legislation passed by the House to fund the government (by Leslie Shedd, updated Oct. 7, 2013):
Legislation passed by the House to avert government shutdown:
H.J.Res. 59, Continuing Resolution for FY2014 (September 20, 2013)
Provides funding at FY2013 spending levels for the federal government, except Obamacare implementation. Passed 230-189
H.J.Res. 59, Continuing Resolution for FY2014 (September 30, 2013)
Provides funding at FY2013 spending levels for the federal government, and delays the individual mandate within Obamacare. Passed 228-201
H.J.Res. 59, Continuing Resolution for FY2014 (October 1, 2013)
The Speaker of the House appoints conferees to negotiate the differences between the House and Senate bills. Conferees: Reps. Cantor, Camp, Ryan (WI), and Graves (GA).
Critical funding legislation passed by the House:
H.R. 3210, Pay Our Military Act
Provides funding for our troops and the civilian personnel who provide support to the troops. Passed 423-0; Passed in the Senate and signed into law by President Obama 9/30/13
H.J.Res. 70, Open Our National Parks and Museums
Provides funding at current spending levels for our national parks, including the Smithsonian Institute and National Memorials. Passed 252-173 (172 Democrats Opposed); No action in the Senate
H.J.Res. 71, Local Funding for DC
Allows the District of Columbia to use their own funds, such as money raised through parking tickets, to operate. Passed by Voice Vote, No Action in Senate
H.J.Res. 72, Honoring Our Promise to America’s Veterans
Provides funding so that our nation’s veterans can continue to receive the benefits they rightfully earned defending our nation. Passed 259-157 (157 Democrats Opposed), No Action in Senate
H.J.Res. 73, Research for Lifesaving Cures
Provides funding for the National Institute of Health to pay for lifesaving treatments, such as cancer treatment for children. Passed 254-171 (170 Democrats Opposed), No Action in Senate
H.R. 3230, Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act
Provides funding for the National Guard and reserve troops. Passed 265-160 (160 Democrats Opposed), No Action in Senate
H.J.Res. 75, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Funding
Provides funding for the Women, Infants, Children (WIC) program, which helps mothers pay for things like milk for their children. Passed 244-167 (164 Democrats Opposed), No Action in Senate
H.J.RES 85, Federal Emergency Management Agency Funding
Provides funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to use in case of natural disaster. Passed 247-164 (164 Democrats Opposed), No Action in Senate
H.R. 3223, Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act
Provides retroactive pay to all federal employees regardless of furlough status. Passed 407-0, No Action in Senate
Legislation to be voted on:
H.J.Res. 76, Nuclear Weapon Security and Non-Proliferation Act
Provides funding to care for an secure for the National Nuclear Security Administration
H.J.Res. 78, Preserving Our Intelligence Capabilities Act
Provides funding for projects and activities within our intelligence community that are necessary for the protection of our national security
H.J.Res. 79, Border Safety and Security Act
Provides funding to keep our border safe, including payment to border agents
H.J.Res. 80, American Indian and Alaska Native, Health, Education, and Safety Act
H.J.Res. 82, National Weather Monitoring Act
H.J.Res. 83, Impact Aid for Local Schools Act
H.J.Res. 84, Head Start for Low-Income Children Act
Provides funding for Heat START programs
[Leslie Shedd is Congressman Westmoreland’s communications director. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-3rd District) was first elected to Congress in 2004 and currently serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He lives in Grantville.]