Tonight, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) voted to open the government and to pay the nation's bills on time before the October 17 deadline. The continuing resolution to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling passed the House by a vote of 285 to 144.
"At long last Republicans have come to their senses and have done what they could have done sixteen days ago: reopen the government and agree to pay the nation's bills on time. Unfortunately, the difference between then and now, though, is that our country has suffered a significant economic setback in the process. I am hopeful that once my Republican colleagues realize the magnitude of the suffering they have caused, they will think twice before playing with fire again."
Since the October 1 government shutdown, more than 31,000 New Jersey federal employees have not been paid. Nine million women, infants, and children have gone hungry without nutrition assistance; survivors of Hurricane Sandy have not received much needed disaster relief; and veterans have returned home to broken promises. And just today, Standard & Poor's calculates that the Republican government shutdown has cost our economy $24 billion in lost economic activity.
"I am pleased that we have finally reached a deal, but I am extremely disappointed that in my first year in Congress, I had to witness first-hand such a shameful time in our nation's democracy. While Republicans played political games, the most vulnerable among us, working families, and our economy suffered. The entire extent of pain and suffering Republicans have unleashed is unknown, but I am hopeful that we can come together to move our country forward to pass a budget, invest in the things that make this nation great, and put people back to work."