Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, the reason we have the shutdown is because of the Republican leadership.
The irony today is that the Republicans keep talking about the other side of the aisle here or the other House, yet they are going to go home at around 12 today, if not sooner, and not come back until Monday after 6:30. So if you really cared about negotiating and doing something, you wouldn't send everyone home for the next 3 days. You are not serious.
The spending levels have already been agreed on. I heard our Democratic leader, Ms. Pelosi, on the floor the other day saying she agreed with the spending levels. So the money isn't the issue. And I don't even hear the health care reform being talked about much anymore on the Republican side of the aisle.
I have no idea why the Speaker of the House continues to keep the government shut down, other than maybe they think they can show that they can do it.
This is absurd and it is cruel on the people, the people that are being furloughed. The effect on the economy is just awful at this point with this continued shutdown.
You come here and say you are going to piecemeal approach and we have bills every day to open up a little part of the government. Open the entire government. Pass a clean continuing resolution.