Note from Dan: Our own and lovable Debbie has twice written to her congressman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County, about the Washington, D.C. shutdown caused by House Republicans in Congress. Below is Debbie’s message to me, as well as Goodlatte’s (eventual) reply to her. In that, I have changed her last name to her first name, as we know her here. Very curiously, the makes no mention in his reply of “Obamacare,” the “Affordable Care Act” or the “ACA.” I wonder why not?
Oh, and in the spirit of mischief, I have thoughtfully added some links to his missive. Follow those!
A response from Bob Goodlatte. I had sent 2 emails to him, the first one when the shutdown first happened telling him that he should be ashamed of himself for what they’re doing, and one over this past weekend, thanking him and his colleagues for insuring that a Democrat will once again be elected President in 2016.
Dear Ms. Debbie:
Thank you for contacting me about the current government slowdown and its consequential effects on the Sixth District. As you know, since October 1, due to inaction by the Senate and President Obama, our country has been experiencing a federal lapse in appropriations commonly referred to as a partial government shutdown. Please know that I share your concerns and am working hard to find a way to get the government reopened as soon as possible.
It is disappointing and disheartening that we have reached this point. For weeks prior to the shutdown, I worked with my colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to take appropriate steps to keep government operations funded and operating without lapse. Beginning on September 20, the House of Representatives passed three resolutions to completely fund the federal government.
Additionally, since the government shutdown began the House has daily passed individual resolutions funding critical components of the government including military pay, veterans funding, the National Park system, and National Institutes of Health research. You may find the full timeline of actions here: http://www.speaker.gov/senatemustact.
Unfortunately the Senate has been unwilling to take affirmative steps to keep our federal government running. They have voted to halt debate on multiple efforts by the House to keep the government open, stopping legislative debate from even starting in the Senate. The only resolution they have chosen to pass to date, the so called “clean” Continuing Resolution, has been wholly inadequate, provides no long-term solutions, and only kicks the fiscal problems facing our nation down the road for a few weeks.
That inaction is why the House has requested a formal, bipartisan conference committee with the Senate. This conference committee’s purpose is to discuss a path forward and how we can find a compromise that reopens the government while adhering to fiscal responsibility and the wishes of our constituents. I have strongly urged the Senate to appoint conferees and come to the negotiating table so Congress can do its job by appropriately funding operations for which the federal government is responsible and putting people back to work.
This government shutdown has affected millions of Americans, and leaders in Congress must come together to negotiate a fiscally responsible solution to fund the federal government that would end the shutdown. I stand ready and willing to work with my colleagues in the Congress on a bipartisan, bicameral solution. I hope that members of the Senate will answer the call to reach a consensus.
In addition, I do not believe that Members of Congress should not be insulated during this difficult situation. Therefore, I want to let you know that I have requested that my pay be withheld until the federal government returns to normal operational status.
Congress must rise above the partisan rhetoric that threatens to debilitate us and do what is right for the country in these trying times. You have my assurance that I will continue to put the interests of the citizens of the Sixth District of Virginia and the country as a whole above the interests of any political party, and that I will continue to look for bipartisan solutions to the challenges our country faces. If you have concerns about the lack of negotiations and additional questions about the legislation passed by the House and now awaiting action in the Senate, you may also want to also contact Virginia’s two United States Senators.
I hope that the residents of Virginia’s Sixth District will continue to be in touch with any questions, concerns, or comments they have during the government shutdown. While my offices are operating with reduced staff, members of my staff stand ready to help constituents who have questions and concerns.
I appreciate you taking the time to contact me. I feel it is important to keep an open line of communication so I can best serve the interests of Virginia’s Sixth District. I hope you will continue to be in touch as the 113th Congress debates issues of importance to the United States.
Again, thanks for the benefit of your comments. Please feel free to contact me whenever I may be of assistance.
Member of Congress