By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reprter
We are entering day four of a partial government shutdown that has closed parks, furloughed thousands of non-essential federal workers, indefinitely postponed small business administration loans, and delayed or imperiled numerous other government functions and both sides appear to be digging in. Congresswoman Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery went to the House floor to demand that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) from Nevada and President Obama come to the negotiating table with House Republicans to get government moving again.
Representative Roby said, “Our message to President Obama is: You were willing to sit down with big businesses and insurance companies to negotiate delays and exceptions from the healthcare law. Why will you now refuse to negotiate with us and give the same reprieve to regular Americans?
Our message to Majority Leader Reid is: You worked swiftly to pass a standalone funding bill for active duty soldiers. Why not now work with the House to pass similar bills for veterans, our national guardsmen and reservists, cancer research and national parks”?
The House was scheduled to vote on bills funding veterans’ services and National Guard and Reserve Pay, but much of Thursday’s schedule was interrupted when Miriam Carey, a Connecticut Dental Hygienist, rammed a White House gate with her car and then led police and security forces on a car chase to the capital, leading to a congressional lock down. The young mother was eventually shot dead at the capital steps. Miraculously, Carey’s one year old daughter who was in the car during the high speed chase and shoot out, survived. Rep. Roby reported on facebook that she and her staff are all safe and accounted for.
On Wednesday, the House passed bills funding the National Parks Service, cancer research and treatments at the National Institutes of Health, and operating expenses for the District of Columbia. Rep. Roby noted that some Senate Democrats support moving the non-controversial funding bills forward, but Majority Leader Reid is refusing to budge.
Rep. Roby said, “I rise this morning to express my frustration and the frustration of my constituents over the stalemate here in Washington.“It didn’t have to come to this. The House put forward four separate proposals to the Senate, each one offering a compromise to the other side. Time after time, Senator Reid Senate stonewalled our efforts to forge a compromise and prevent a shutdown. When House Republicans passed legislation that simply asking Senate Democrats to come to the table to negotiate, Senator Reid said no.”
The conservative Alabama Congresswoman said, “Everyone knows Republicans and Democrats don’t see eye to eye on every spending issue. However, there is a lot we do agree on, like funding for critical cancer research, the national parks, veterans’ services, and national guardsmen and reservists. And when we drafted standalone bills funding these efforts, we saw support from some Senate Democrats. But again, Mr. Reid said no.”
Rep. Roby said, “So first we couldn’t get Mr. Reid to negotiate over what we disagree on. Today we can’t get him to even consider what we do agree on. Mr. Speaker – I don’t know how many more olive branches we have left on the tree. But today we are going to offer more. We will work to ensure young boys and girls who need cancer treatments from the National Institutes of Health receive the life saving medicine that they deserve. We will work to protect our nation’s military men and women who have served so valiantly in combat only to have their hard-earned benefits denied to them by partisan bickering. Finally we will work to end this shutdown, not just for some Americans but for all Americans. Because, Mr. Speaker, this has always been an issue of fairness.”
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District and is serving in her second term.