Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, members of the Republican Women's Policy Committee sent an earnest letter to Senator Harry Reid, asking him to please put aside the partisanship for a second and to take the opportunity to enact commonsense legislation to help our kids; take up bipartisan House legislation to restore WIC; to open NIH; and to fund Head Start.
Senator Reid has done nothing, though, and President Obama said that it's their way or the highway, to give them everything they want or get lost.
In North Carolina, our WIC program doesn't have sufficient funds to issue new vouchers until the Senate acts. It's the Senate's choice. They should do the right thing. At this point, however, the Senate is rejecting common ground.
Senate Democrats are refusing to make government work for the American people because they won't even agree to having a conversation about whether all Americans should be treated equally under ObamaCare. Health care is a matter of security to many Americans; and health care, as we all know, is changing drastically next year. For many in North Carolina, it is becoming more expensive; and for others, their plans are being canceled.
When asked why American families are being denied a 1-year delay of the individual mandate so they can figure out ObamaCare without having the threat of government penalties, the Secretary of Health and Human Services suggested that the way to ``opt out'' of the mandate was to simply allow government to levy a fine against you. That sounds like a fair choice, doesn't it? Individual Americans do what we want or pay an unprecedented tax on your behavior. Mr. Speaker, the refusal even to acknowledge the specter of unfairness in ObamaCare's implementation is shocking.
Consider the great lengths Senate Democrats are going in order to prove a point about not negotiating: Senate Democrats won't call a vote on legislation to fund the National Institutes of Health, to ensure pay for Guardsmen and Reservists, to stop veteran benefit application delays, to fully fund WIC, to restore Head Start, to restore FEMA or FDA funding. Senate Democrats won't call a vote to reopen the national parks.
Throwing all of this common ground by the wayside--common ground that will help people--is inexcusable. The President and the Senate need to start explaining why their way or the highway is more important than doing their jobs and finding a compromise to end this shutdown.