U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today released the following statement regarding the shutdown of the federal government:
"To pass a law, our Constitution says that you need the approval of the House, the Senate, and the President.
"The Tea Party doesn't control the Senate, the presidency, or even a majority of the House. But it has discovered that it wields just enough power to threaten, through inaction on the budget or the debt ceiling, to cause economic catastrophe.
"To prevent families from gaining health care, the Tea Party is holding hostage nearly every other operation of the federal government: everything from disease investigations by the Center for Disease Control, to college loans, to Social Security applications.
"This hostage-taking behavior is undemocratic, destructive, and dangerous.
"We had an election in this country less than a year ago. The Tea Party ran on a platform of repealing Obamacare. Voters heard the idea, considered it, and rejected it. Yet now extremists are choosing to shut down the entire government out of hatred for a bill that, very simply, helps families afford health care.
"The Tea Party may not like the outcome of last year's elections, but they are obliged to respect voters' choices, not to sabotage the process of self government."