A government shutdown is not good for anyone. Click here for answers to some frequently asked questions on the effects of a government shutdown. I have voted multiple times to keep the government open and make sure Members of Congress are treated just like hardworking Americans across this country. I sincerely hope that Congress can come to an agreement as soon as possible. As always, I want to make sure that myself and my staff are available to respond to concerns and questions by my constituents. Please don't hesitate to call me (863-644-8215; 813-752-4790; 202-225-1252); send me an email; or write me a letter.
Background on what's been going on these past few weeks:
Throughout the past couple of weeks, the House has passed three different bills to avert a government shut down. Usually what happens in negotiations is that one side gives an offer then sends it to the other side, who then gives a counter offer. In this situation, the House sent multiple bills to the Senate that would avert a government shut down. Not only did the Senate vote against this legislation, they didn't send back any offer that was different than their original one. The Senate has never offered any concessions. In order to negotiate, you must find common ground.
Last week, I offered a solution that would keep the government open that I believe everyone can agree with -- the elimination of the Obamacare "fix" for Members of Congress, Congressional staff, the president, vice president, and political appointees. The House passed a new funding bill that included this last night as well as delayed the individual mandate in Obamacare for one year. Unfortunately, the Senate voted against this, and once again, did not offer a concession -- only their original offer of a funding bill with no changes in spending.
Early this morning, I voted to request a conference committee, in which the House and Senate can come to the table, engage in a dialogue, and negotiate a solution to ending this government shutdown.
We need to come to an agreement as soon as possible.