Payne Statement on Republican Government Shutdown

Washington, D.C. – Following Sunday’s late night Reckless Republican Government Shutdown Bill, House Republicans again failed to pass a bill that would keep the government open.  Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) released the following statement after the shutdown of the United States government.

“This is a shameful day for the United States government. Our democracy is supposed to be the example of the world, yet a Republican majority-led House has let a small minority of its caucus hijack this political process and dictate this Republican shutdown.  Democrats have already compromised by giving Republicans the budget level they asked for, but Republicans refused to budge.  Because of the GOP’s unwillingness to compromise and work for the American people, American families and our economy will pay the price.

“With this shutdown, I fear for the families, businesses, and survivors of Hurricane Sandy who will not get the relief they need to recover from the storm.  I fear for the veterans who will not get the care or benefits they need.  I fear for the pregnant mothers and infants who will not receive the WIC nutritional assistance they need to be healthy.  I fear for the entrepreneurs who are counting on a small business loan to get their business up and running, but will have to relinquish their dream.

“The Affordable Care Act, which will open for enrollment today, regardless of whether Republicans decided to fund the government or not, has been passed by both chambers of Congress, signed by the president, and held constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States. It is the law of the land.  Republicans have the ability to debate the Affordable Care Act if they choose, but they have failed to ever offer a realistic alternative, instead resorting to more than 45 futile defunding attempts even if it means sabotaging our economy like they did tonight.

“Republicans stubbornly refused to negotiate, knowing full-well that they were going to shut down the government, and in fact the extreme faction in their party was even cheering for this Republican shutdown.  Now, Republicans have the American people to answer to, and the American people will not forget:  Tonight, for the first time in 17 years, House Republicans are responsible for shutting down the American government.”