Rep. Green Submits Official Statement on the Government Shutdown
Washington – With only hours left ahead of the looming October 1 deadline for Congress to pass a continuing appropriations resolution to fund the federal government, Congressman Gene Green expressed his frustrations and submitted the following statement to the official Congressional record:
“Mr. Speaker, here we are, within hours of shutting down most of the programs that this Congress has approved or funded. Do my Republican friends know how silly it sounds to threaten shutting down
“Mr. Speaker, here we are, within hours of shutting down most of the programs that this Congress has approved or funded. Do my Republican friends know how silly it sounds to threaten shutting down the government just to ensure that Member of Congress, our staff and White House staff don’t receive the same health care benefits as other federal employees do? To gamble with valuable federal programs should be embarrassing. Here are just a few examples of programs that will be affected if the GOP pursues this strategy that I doubt they’d want to see happen.
The GOP shutdown would mean that the Centers for Disease Control would be unable to support annual seasonal influenza program. Also, in the event of H7N9 influenza or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome related incident, preparation and response could be delayed. The GOP shutdown means we will rely more on foreign energy as the issuance of permits for energy production on federal lands stop. I certainly know that my Republican colleagues wouldn’t want to see that happen. Head Start centers around the country will close. During FY12, an estimated 1,600 Head Start agencies served over 950,000 children, including 71,963 children in Texas. Apparently, our children are okay to target in this political debate as well. Under the GOP shutdown, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will be affected and gun permits will not be processed. And very importantly, veterans’ educational, compensation, and pension benefits processing would likely be delayed, as happened in the 1995-96 shutdowns. Texas has the second highest number of veterans in the country at nearly 1.7 million.
To make this even more unreasonable, the Affordable Care Act, which you hate, will continue to go forward even if you shut down the United States Government since it’s mandatory spending.
Mr. Speaker, I encourage my colleagues to be reasonable and pass a clean CR. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I yield back the balance of my time.”