October 10th, 2012

October 10, 2013

I, along with all Americans, continue to become more and more frustrated each day that the government shutdown carries on without a resolution.  The question on everyone’s mind is, "How do we fix this?”  While there are no easy answers, I think it is important for me to explain where we stand and why this gridlock continues. Just before the government lapse in funding began, the President and Senate Democrats repeatedly refused to acknowledge, address or negotiate anything regarding our nations spending problem.  Their refusal to acknowledge this looming issue brings us to the shutdown we have today.

Basically there are two paths the country can take: The President and the Senate want to pass a 'clean' continuing resolution (CR), which would continue government priorities and funding levels at their current status with no changes.  I believe, as do House Republicans that this country does need changes in both its priorities and funding levels moving forward.  To say that our current trajectory will be beneficial for our country in the long run is to turn a blind eye on the American people’s future economic prosperity.

I'll leave it up to you to determine for yourselves: Do you believe that both our federal government and our country are on the right track and in no need of changes, or do you believe there are some points that Congress should work to improve upon?  This is the basic argument surrounding the issue at hand. Please email me at repbob.gibbs@mail.house.gov and let me know your opinion.  

Last week the House passed eight bills that would fund and reopen vital functions of the government. Those eight bills are now sitting on Harry Reid’s desk waiting to be taken up in the Senate.  My colleagues and I have repeatedly passed legislation and offered to sit down and negotiate with the Democrat controlled Senate. Without a bipartisan agreement to reopen the government more Americans will continue to suffer the consequences of the President’s shutdown.

The House has kept its word on working to have the government opened again. To date we have voted to protect Head Start students programs, fund pediatric cancer research, reopen national parks and memorials, ensure veterans receive their benefits, pay our National Guard and Army Reserve, provide funds for disaster relief, and provide back pay for those federal employees who were furloughed. These stopgap funding bills have passed the House and will keep critical programs running since President Obama and Senate Democrats shut down the government just one week ago.

The only way to solve this issue is to have everyone come to the table with an open mind to work in the best interest of the American public. This past week the President chose to address the shutdown in a press conference and he made it clear that he is not willing to negotiate. My message to the President is simple: there is a seat at the negotiating table, take it. By choosing to play petty games, the President and Harry Reid are holding the American people hostage.