U.S. Rep. Herrera Beutler calls on Congress to end shutdown

U.S. Rep. Herrera Beutler calls on Congress to end shutdown
U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Citing how the government shutdown is negatively affecting her constituents, southwest Washington’s Republican U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler on Tuesday called on Congress to end the shutdown.

“I wanted to give House Republican leaders leeway to craft the best deal they could,” she said in a statement released after news came that the U.S. House of Representatives would not vote on the latest GOP proposal. “But it’s time to reopen the government and ensure we don’t default on our debt. I will not vote for poison pills that have no chance of passing the Senate or being signed into law.”

She pointed out that she’s been an opponent of the Affordable Care Act, aka, “Obamacare,” but because she said President Barack Obama refuses to compromise on his health care law, it will be unlikely any further progress on the law and improving the economy and lowering the debt can be made with the fights over the debt limit and the shutdown continuing.

She said over time, the flaws of the health care law will become apparent as well as the damage it will cause to the economy and the health care system.

“With time, and with new leadership in D.C. we can change that Act.  But this shutdown is hurting our cause, not helping it,” she said.

Herrera Beutler specifically cited one area where here constituents were be hurt by the shutdown: “In Longview, Washington, people who are critically injured must now wait for life flights to come from Oregon.  The local hospital’s helicopter can’t get FAA certification during a shutdown. I can't stand by and let this happen any longer,” she said.

She also cited other areas that will soon be affected by the shutdown. Those included: benefits for veterans, food assistance for low income women and children, and the ability for fishermen to harvest crabs and other fish.


Full statement:

WASHINGTON, DC – Jaime Herrera Beutler released the following statement this evening regarding the government shutdown and approaching debt ceiling limit:
 
“Despite my skepticism, until now I have refrained from public comment on the House budget negotiating strategy.  I wanted to give House Republican leaders leeway to craft the best deal they could.  But it’s time to reopen the government and ensure we don’t default on our debt. I will not vote for poison pills that have no chance of passing the Senate or being signed into law.

“Make no mistake -- I have consistently opposed the Affordable Care Act, because it harms more people than it helps and it makes promises that the nation cannot afford to keep.  But this President will not bend or compromise on this issue even if the shutdown lasts until the end of his term, and this continued fighting is making it less likely that we can make progress on this issue or on improving our economy or lowering our debt.

“This does not mean surrendering on the issue of the Affordable Care Act.  I believe that the case will become clearer about the damage the Affordable Care Act is doing to our economy and our health care system.  With time, and with new leadership in D.C. we can change that Act.  But this shutdown is hurting our cause, not helping it.

“ If this shutdown lasts much longer, negative impacts could be widespread.  We are being told that veterans’ earned benefits will soon stop if the shutdown persists.  The contingency funds that have supported food assistance for low income women, infants and children will be gone soon. Fishermen’s livelihoods are at stake as they can’t get the NOAA permits to harvest crabs and other fish, making narrow fishing seasons even narrower.

“In Longview, Washington, people who are critically injured must now wait for life flights to come from Oregon.  The local hospital’s helicopter can’t get FAA certification during a shutdown. I can't stand by and let this happen any longer.

“Like it or not, the White House and Senate have blocked House efforts to address the issues with the Affordable Care Act.  Nothing positive will be achieved by prolonging this shutdown any longer, or crossing the debt limit threshold.  It’s time for my colleagues to face reality.”