Local Congress Members Blame “Hostage Politics” for Shutdown

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    WASHINGTON - MARCH 20: U.S. Rep. John Larson (D-CT) takes his glasses off as he testifies during a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee March 20, 2007 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The hearing was focused on "Proposed Legislation on Iraq." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** John Larson

    Local members of the U.S. House of Representatives, all of whom are members are Democrats, have some heated word for Republican House leadership over the partial federal government shutdown and blamed “hostage politics” and “poison pill” amendments.

    The most fiery words come from U.S. Rep. John Larson as he spoke on the floor of the U.S. House early this morning.

    He Tweeted out that the House Republican leadership was playing “hostage politics” and his speech on the House floor called for them to do “what’s fair for the American people -- not Democrats, not Republicans, not Green Party, not Tea Party, but the American people,” he said with his voice raised.

    The first federal government shutdown in 17 years started on Tuesday amid a budget impasse in Congress.

    “The American people, in the greatest land in the greatest country in the world, deserve to have their government open and they deserve to know where their members stand,” he yelled. “Do you stand with your country, do you stand for your country or do you want to take it down this evening? Stand up for your country.”

    Larson said the Republican-controlled House block the House Democrats' attempt for a clean vote to fund the government, demonstrating “a cavalier willingness to shut down the government for pure political posturing.”

    U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro said the shutdown will lead anti-hunger and nutrition support to women, infant and children to dry up and life-saving research to be put on hold. 

    “Instead of working with Democrats to move a budget forward and prevent all this other self-inflicted damage, the Majority’s leadership is allowing the fringe ideologues in their party to turn the budget process into a hostage crisis. Kill the Affordable Care Act, they argue, or America gets it. This is not responsible leadership,” DeLauro said in a statement.

     U.S. Rep Joe Courtney said House Republicans insisted on including “poison-pill amendments” to the Continuing Resolution.
     
    “House Republicans have once again affirmatively chosen to shut down the government to score cheap political points. Three times, the House GOP have had the opportunity to pass a clean continuing resolution—which President Obama has pledged to sign immediately—and avert a shutdown,” Courtney said. “After this third strike tonight, they are out of time, and out of options.  It is time for Speaker Boehner to stop caving to the extreme wing of the Republican conference, and bring the straightforward Senate bill to the floor for an up-or-down vote so we can stop this reckless attack on our country’s economy.”

    U.S. Rep. Jim Himes called the shutdown “avoidable and irresponsible.”

    “As the President said, it is the job of Congress to ensure our government has the funding and the authorization it needs to stay open to help the American people.” Himes said in a statement.
     
    He warned that the U.S. economy will suffer because of the shutdown.

    “It is absolutely ridiculous that Congress would continue down this path of intransigence as the American people demand we find compromise and keep the government running. In the coming days, I will continue urging my colleagues to come to the table, leave their childish demands at home, and pass a clean resolution to fund the United States government,” Himes said.

    U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty called it “outrageous and sad” that “Speaker Boehner allowed a fringe of his caucus to shut down the government in a quest to refight a tired ideological battle.”

    “The obsession that this small group of Tea Party Republicans in Washington has with defunding and dismantling the Affordable Care Act is inexplicable,” Esty wrote. “The economic harm that a government shutdown will inflict on families and businesses in Connecticut and across the country is inexcusable.”

    U.S. Rep John Boehner said Republicans have been "working to protect all Americans from this train wreck of a law," (referring to the affordable care act."

    “So late Monday night, we passed one additional measure in an effort to resolve our differences with Senate Democrats.  We moved to go to conference committee – the process our Founders set up to resolve differences between the House and Senate," he said in a statement. “Senate Democrats still insist they won’t negotiate, but this isn’t about us.  It’s about treating the American people the way we would want to be treated."   
     

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