Congressional Democrats will file a petition tomorrow morning to reopen the U.S. government and provide Republicans with an opportunity to vote to end the shutdown.
"Republican colleagues who have voiced support for a clean resolution to fund government operations will have an opportunity to bring that vote to the floor and halt further economic damage to our Tampa Bay neighbors and businesses," said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL).
With House Republican leadership refusing to allow a vote to end the government shutdown, a discharge petition forces the Speaker to take an up-or-down vote on the Senate-passed bill to reopen government with funding set at levels that the Speaker negotiated with the Senate. Over the last 30 years, seven discharge petitions have received 218 signatures. In all seven cases, the majority party agreed to bring the measure to the House floor.
"Locally the fallout from the GOP government shutdown has been particularly harsh for military families, small businesses and tourism." Rep. Castor explained: "I am outraged that Republicans have elevated their political interests over the best interests of our country as benefits have been cut for the families of our fallen soldiers, Tampa Bay small businesses have lost loans to expand capital, and a major national conference was canceled that would have brought more than 4,000 visitors to the Tampa Convention Center. The GOP shutdown has been painful and cost our community millions of dollars. Even veterans going to their doctor's appointments at the VA hospital have been met with cancellations because of the shutdown."
"The bill to reopen the government would pass if it were brought today to the House floor for a vote. But House Republican leadership continues to block the vote, even after more than a dozen attempts by Democrats to take it up. This has been a GOP-manufactured crisis that threatens our future, but a discharge petition will force a vote, and I believe the majority of members in the House are ready for reasonable solutions."