October 03, 2013
By Jennifer Bihm
LAWT Staff Writer
“If this makes you angry, that’s because it should. This behavior from some Republicans in Congress is as irresponsible as it gets,” said Jon Carson, a spokesperson for President Barack Obama.
“These aren’t just games. Speaker Boehner is letting one faction of one party in one chamber of Congress sabotage our economy. They shut down the government, and now some of them are ready to push us past the brink by refusing to do something every American does — pay their bills…”
Carson’s statement echoes that of many politicians and community leaders weighing in on the government shutdown, which began October 1 over a disagreement between the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House over the recently passed Affordable Care Act.
“Today is a sad day not just for hundreds of thousands of government workers, many of whom live paycheck-to-paycheck, but for our veterans, senior citizens, and average hardworking Americans,” said Congresswoman Janice Hahn.
“The Republicans have decided that their obsession with the Affordable Care Act is more important than the rest of the government—more important than paying FBI agents, more important than keeping the Wall Street watchdogs on the job, more important than keeping the lights on at the Environmental Protection Agency, more important than researching a cure for cancer, and more important than indefinitely furloughing, without pay, 800,000 of our fellow Americans.
“I’d say I believe that the suffering caused by a shutdown will be enough to change my Republican friends’ minds, but this is the same group of people who proudly voted to slash food stamps by 40 billion dollars when nearly 47 million Americans are still struggling to feed themselves without help. I am deeply disappointed that our nation has been forced into a government shutdown. There’s no reason for us to be at this point. I hope the Republicans will listen to the American people and allow us to vote on a clean bill to end the shutdown immediately.”
About 800,000 government employees deemed “non essential” were furloughed as of October 1, being put on indefinite unpaid leave and according to news reports, the Capitol was a “ghost town, run by a skeleton crew.” Also, government entities like Centers for Disease Control and the Consumer Product Safety Commission could not function. However, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and Social Security Administration, which are funded by long-term or mandatory appropriations, were largely unaffected.
“The irresponsibility of the Republican Party cannot be overstated,” said Congresswoman Maxine Waters on Tuesday.
“As we slowly emerge from the worst economic crisis in over 70 years, I am saddened that ideological extremism has led to another self-inflicted wound that could have dire consequences for our fragile recovery. Even a short shutdown threatens job creation, harms small businesses, and leaves families with uncertainty and instability. Some agencies will be forced to drain reserve funds, while others will close entirely. The SBA will stop approving loans and loan guarantees for small businesses. Housing loans to low and middle income families in rural communities will be put on hold, as will start-up business loans for farmers and ranchers. This will not only harm those seeking these loans, but the small banks that offer them, slowing business and leading to potentially large backlogs.
“Republicans are gambling with the American economy to make an ideological point. Each day this shutdown continues risks further irreparable damage to our financial system, our economy and our middle class. It must end now.”
Meanwhile, Congresswoman Karen Bass was offering answers to frequently asked questions about the shutdown like, “how will my benefits be affected,” on her website.