Congress members represent portions of Rochester/Finger Lakes region.
Statements are from U.S. Reps. Chris Collins, R-Clarence; Tom Reed, R-Corning and Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport
Chuck Schumer and the liberal left have just shut down the government and voted against extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), taking away important benefits from millions of low-income children. The House of Representatives did our job, and I am outraged that the Senate has used such a costly and unnecessary tactic for purely political purposes. Senate Democrats need to take responsibility for withholding pay from our troops, wasting taxpayer money, and harming Western New York families. House Republicans did our job and we will work tirelessly to clean up this mess.”
The unfortunate government shutdown is further proof that the extremes on both sides of the aisle continue to focus on their own self interests and not the needs of the American people. I am deeply disappointed these extremists, who are refusing to compromise, have prevailed. I want to assure people that I will not stop working until a solution is found.
In the meantime, our office will remain open, accessible and able to help as many people as possible with the things they need such as social security checks, Medicare, or veterans issues.
In Washington, we continue to work out the details of a bipartisan solution. This week, the Problem Solvers Caucus, which I co-chair, held a bipartisan meeting with over 50 House and Senate members looking to bring stability to government and solve the problems we face. These issues include addressing our spending priorities like the Children's Health Insurance Program and paying our men and women in uniform. We also must address our failing immigration policies.
Speaking Saturday on the House Floor:
Today is the one-year anniversary of complete Republican control of Washington. The Majority runs the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. And what does our country have to show for it?
First, a tax bill for corporations and the wealthy. Now, the great government of the United States is closed for business.
The impacts will be severe. Just look what happened during the last Republican shutdown in 2013, which cost our economy an estimated $24 billion:
- Progress on reducing the massive backlog of veterans’ disability claims was stopped
- Two-thirds of the Centers for Disease Control and three-fourths of the National Institutes of Health were furloughed
- Flu season surveillance and monitoring was severely limited
- Life-saving FDA food safety inspections were delayed
- 1.2 million private-sector loans to individuals and small businesses were disrupted
- Billions in tax refunds were delayed
- Head Start centers serving 6,300 children were closed
- 120,000 private-sector jobs were destroyed
Why is our government shut down today? Because the Majority was so obsessed with handing out tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations that they ignored their responsibility to the American people. They failed to renew Community Health Centers.
They failed to permanently renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which the CBO has found would save the government $6 billion over ten years.
That’s despite the fact that the Majority made their tax cuts for corporations permanent.
That was a tax bill, by the way, that the Majority sold as a middle class tax cut. But we know today it is anything but. It’s a tax cut for big corporations and the super wealthy. And it seems designed to target blue states.
Action on these items shouldn’t be some extraordinary exercise. Republicans and Democrats agree that we need to address them! But the Majority has been missing in action.
All the while, we’ve been forced to limp along, funding our government in month-long tranches. That’s no way to run a business and it’s certainly no way to run the government.
President Trump tweeted last May, “our country needs a good shutdown.”
In 2011, years before he assumed office, President Trump said during an interview as another Republican shutdown loomed, “If there is a shutdown I think it would be a tremendously negative mark on the president of the United States. He’s the one that has to get people together.”
The president needs to stop treating this like a reality show and the Majority should stop treating governing like a game where the truth is discarded.
The Majority’s short-term CR failed last night in the Senate because it didn’t get the job done. It was written behind closed doors without our input.
Democrats weren’t alone in making clear that this continuing resolution was unacceptable.
Members of the Majority’s own conference voted against it on both sides of the Capitol.
If I were in the Majority’s shoes with 51 seats in the Senate and I had to get to 60 votes, I’d invite Democrats in on it.
The problem is that this president apparently thinks one thing at 10am and another one at noon. That makes reaching an agreement extraordinarily difficult.
Even the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, said this week, “I'm looking for something that President Trump supports. And he's not yet indicated what measure he's willing to sign.”
So the Majority in both chambers should try something new for a change: bipartisanship.
I am here today ready to craft a compromise that addresses the needs facing the American people. So are my Democratic colleagues.
To the Majority, I say this: work with us and let’s end this shutdown.