Congressman Beto O'Rourke releases statement on possible government shutdown

Congressman Beto O'Rourke released the following statement on a possible government shutdown and legislation being considered:

While making calls to constituents earlier today I had the chance to speak to El Pasoans who would be impacted by a government shutdown. I spoke with two Officers at Fort Bliss who told me they are most worried about the young soldiers under his command who earn little and cannot afford a delay in their pay. The House should show the same compassion and maturity as these Officers and do the responsible thing-quickly pass the Senate CR.

Earlier today the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) that would fund government operations at current levels through November 15, 2013. Unlike the CR passed by the House last week, the Senate passed a "clean" bill that does not include a provision to defund the Affordable Care Act. President Obama has said he would sign this CR into law if it reaches his desk. I support swift passage of the Senate CR. Doing so will prevent a disastrous government shutdown that would happen on Tuesday if Congress does not act. It will also provide time for the House, Senate, and White House to pass a longer-term spending bill that replaces the sequester with a responsible budget.

I do not support adding extraneous items to the CR, such as defunding or delaying the ACA. Doing so only brings us closer to a shutdown that will damage our economy, curtail basic government functions, and result in furloughs for thousands of workers in El Paso, including many at Fort Bliss. If Congress wants to make changes to the ACA, we should do so through the regular legislative process, not by holding the country hostage with the threat of not meeting Congress' most basic responsible to fund the government.

Currently, it is unclear if House leadership will allow an up or down vote on the Senate CR or whether they will take another track that brings us closer to a shutdown. I will be in D.C. through the weekend to work on this issue. I can make two pledges to you.

First, I stand ready to cast a vote on a responsible CR that keeps our government functioning. Second, if a shutdown occurs and federal employees in El Paso are not paid, I will return my pay. I will do my best to keep you informed over the weekend and into Monday.

Source: Beto O'Rourke

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