By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The federal government went into partial shutdown at midnight when the Democratic controlled U.S. Senate refused a compromise Continuing Resolution which would have kept the government funded but delayed implementation of the unpopular Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (popularly referred to as Obamacare).
Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D) released a written statement following the government shutdown blaming Republicans in the House for the shutdown. Rep. Sewell said,
“Once again, House Republicans put partisan politics ahead of the needs of the American people. The government shutdown is the sole creation of the House Republicans. The GOP had a chance to avert the government shutdown but chose political brinkmanship over responsible compromise. In order to avoid the shutdown, the Senate sent the House a compromise spending bill that accepted the GOP’s lower funding levels. Instead of allowing a vote on this clean Continuing Resolution, House Republicans once again attached unreasonable amendments which had no hope of gaining bi-partisan support. Enough is enough! We cannot continue playing ping pong with the well-being of the American people.”
Alabama’s only congressional Democrat wrote,
“A government shutdown will have a devastating impact on my constituents in Alabama’s 7th Congressional District and citizens across the nation, depriving millions of Americans of vital services and costing American taxpayers an estimated $150 million a day. Families on food stamps and kids who benefit from the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) programs will go hungry. Over 17,000 children in Alabama will be affected by immediate cuts to the Head Start Program. Many government offices across this country will close and the more than 43,000 federal workers in Alabama could be affected. Our national economy should not be held hostage to partisan games. Our constituents sent us to Congress, not to create problems but to find solutions. Let’s start earning the title of ‘Representative’ by doing what is in the best interest of the American people we represent.”
The nation has become increasingly polarized, between those who favor expanding government benefits, spending, taxes, and federal power and those who believe that the federal government already provides too many benefits to lower income Americans, has too much power, and takes too much money in taxes from American workers and businesses while borrowing vast sums from future tax collections to pay for current government programs and spending making it difficult for the two parties to come together without one side appearing to capitulate to the other.
Congresswoman Sewell represents Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District.