Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter

Representing the 1st District of New Hampshire
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon

Statement on the Continuing Resolution that Defunds the Affordable Care Act

Sep 20, 2013
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contact:
Ben Wakana, 202-225-5456

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter issued the following statement after voting against H.J.Res.59, a partisan Continuing Resolution that would defund the Affordable Care Act:

“I agree with most Americans that we should keep the government open, but Speaker Boehner and House Republicans are threatening to shut it down unless Congress defunds the Affordable Care Act, a law that was passed by Congress, signed by the President, and upheld by the Supreme Court.

“Forcing the government to shut down over ideological battles could delay many vital government functions, such as processing military pay, veterans' benefits, and new Social Security enrollees. Furthermore, according to the Congressional Budget Office, repealing Obamacare would increase the budget deficit.

“This is an irresponsible political ploy. It’s time to find common ground and stop holding Congress and the American people hostage.”

BACKGROUND

A number of nonpartisan government officials and outside organizations have warned against the Republican threat of shutting down the government over funding for the Affordable Care Act:

US Chamber of Commerce: “It is not in the best interest of the U.S. business community or the American people to risk even a brief government shutdown that might trigger disruptive consequences or raise new policy uncertainties washing over the U.S. economy…Likewise, the U.S. Chamber respectfully urges the House of Representatives to raise the debt ceiling in a timely manner and thus eliminate any question of threat to the full faith and credit of the United States government…” [9/18]

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke: “A government shutdown, and perhaps even more so a failure to raise the debt limit, could have very serious consequences for the financial markets and for the economy, and the Federal Reserve's policy is to do whatever we can to keep the economy on course. And so if these actions led the economy to slow, then we would have to take that into account, surely.  … That being said, you know, again, our ability to offset these shocks is very limited, particularly a debt limit shock, and I think it's extraordinarily important that Congress and the administration work together to find a way to make sure that the government is funded, public services are provided, that the government pays its bills, and that we avoid any kind of event like 2011, which had, at least for a time, a noticeable adverse effect on confidence on the economy.” [Reuters, 9/18]

Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf: “We have now started to prepare for the possibility of a shutdown at CBO -- taking time and energy that we’d otherwise spend in serving Congress more directly … At agencies that are larger and more complicated, the planning for the shutdown is much more involved.” [CNN, 9/18]

Even Senate Republicans recognize that their colleagues’ attempt to hold our economy hostage in a continuous failed effort to defund, undermine or repeal the Affordable Care Act is an unrealistic policy:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “That's a technical thing …But yeah, like 80 percent of [the Affordable Care Act] it is unaffected ... That seems to not resonate with anybody.”  [Huffington Post, 9/18]

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ):  “It’s a suicide note [to use the debt-ceiling measure to try to hobble the health-care law]… To think that somehow we are going to prevail in an argument to defund Obamacare is just the height of foolishness.  The advantage rests with the president of the United States.” [Business Week, 9/18]

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): “My personal belief is the only way to get rid of Obamacare is to be intelligent and smart about it and gradually just work on it, work it through.  But to expect the government to shut down is not the way to do it.”  [POLITICO, 9/18]

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK): “I actually don't think it's a smart strategy to shut down the government as a method of defunding Obamacare.  I think if you want to do it, do it on the debt limit, don't do it on shutting down the government because our economy is so precarious right now, and shutting down the government won't stop Obamacare one iota.” [NewsOn6, 8/22]

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK): “It’s mostly symbolic.  We want to have something out there so people continue to talk about it.... That’s a way of keeping the issue alive.... It is something you have to keep doing because you have strong beliefs, and even if logically it isn’t going to work out the way you want it, you still try.” [National Journal, 9/17]

###