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Leader Cantor: We Ask the President to Sit Down With Us So We Can End This Shutdown


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"The House just took another step to try and ease the pain of the federal government shutdown, ensuring that furloughed federal employees will get their pay. As you can see, it was a unanimous vote in the House. We had also gotten word yesterday that the Obama Administration had been making it very difficult -- if not impossible -- for chaplains to come and conduct services on government property during the shutdown. We felt that really was an abuse of this shutdown and wanted to make sure that the fundamental, constitutional right to practice your faith and religion would be upheld. As you saw again, nearly unanimous on the House floor.

"What we are looking at here again is an Administration -- a President -- who seems to be unwilling to sit down and talk with us. We have a Majority Leader in the Senate who seems unwilling to sit down and work out our differences. It doesn't make any sense - if the President has an axe to grind with the opposing party -- why he would want to put the American people in the middle of that and force the pain on them.

"Up until today, we had 57 Democrats supporting bipartisan bills to relieve the pain of this shutdown. You have to ask yourself, now with the unanimous vote we just saw for federal employees, if it's so important to ease the pain for them -- what about the vets? Do the Democrats not feel it's important to make sure the pain is eased on them? What about the sick children that need access to clinical trials? Is it not as important to ease the pain of the shutdown for them? Or is it just the federal employees that the Democratic minority thinks is important.

"We can work this out. We have - in fact going back five years -- thought that this shutdown has been brought about by the President's unwillingness to sit down and talk with Members of Congress on the Hill. And I think if you were to ask both sides of the aisle, this Administration has been almost absent when it comes to discussions on working out our differences. And we're going to stay focused on trying to ease the pain of this shutdown, while we continue to ask both the President and the Majority Leader to sit down and talk."

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