Americans everywhere are grappling with the effects of the partial shutdown of our federal government, a situation that angers me and that I oppose.
I want to be clear: I have voted for multiple measures that fully fund the operations of the federal government in order to avoid the current shutdown.
As someone who serves on a committee that is directly responsible for funding the federal government, the House Appropriations Committee, I am deeply disappointed that our historical, bipartisan committee efforts to fund the government on a timely basis, and to rein in Washington spending and overreach, have been circumvented.
The American people deserve better. No one, the President, the Senate, nor the House Leadership, can continue to sit on the sidelines as inaction and paralysis stall an economic recovery and throws thousands of federal employees off the job!
So how does this shutdown end? First, everyone should stop the "finger-pointing' and the "blame-game' and then sit down for serious discussions to work toward real solutions. It can be done. It must be done.
In this context, I have been appointed to a Conference Committee by the House Leadership to work with all parties to resolve this crisis. We stand ready to begin bipartisan negotiations at any time on re-opening the government. We must also focus on the larger issue of America's debt crisis, reducing Washington spending, pro-growth tax reform and preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare.
Secondly, everyone knows that the House cannot resolve this immediate crisis alone. Yet, the President has said he will not negotiate and the Senate Leadership says they will not talk.
The American people expect us to work together. As an "eternal optimist,' I am hopeful that we can see more bipartisanship and compromise. Our nation is counting on it!