October 2, 2013

Local reps respond to partial shutdown

The Express-Star


After weeks of debate, congressional representatives failed to reach a compromise to fund the government before an Oct. 1 deadline resulting in partial government shutdown. 

U.S. Representative Tom Cole said yesterday’s government shutdown put furloughs on more than 800,000 federal workers and America has to suffer the consequences.

“Today is an unfair day for America and one that could have been avoided,” Cole said. “While the House has worked tirelessly to propose fair solutions, the Senate has refused to consider a compromise in any form.”

The solutions Cole referred to were the House passing three temporary spending measures to keep the government running, including proposals that would defund Obamacare, delay the implementation of the law for a year or delay the individual mandate for a year.

Cole has made it clear that a government shutdown isn’t going to improve the condition of the U.S. economy, but have an adverse effect.

“Our economy is broken, and shutting down the government is making it worse,” Cole said. “It is critical that leaders from both chambers work together to resolve the situation and find meaningful, long-term solutions to our growing deficit, especially as we near another deadline involving the debt ceiling.”

The U.S. government has an Oct. 17 deadline to come to a solution before it reaches it’s debt ceiling.

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe said the government shutdown will most likely have negative implications on Oklahoma small businesses, senior citizens and civilian military workers.

“The President won’t come to the table to address Americans’ concerns about implementation and funding of this disastrous piece of legislation,” Inhofe said, referring to Obamacare. “He (Obama) and the Democrats have instead chosen to shut down the government rather than negotiate. I encourage the president and my senate colleagues to come to the table and end this shutdown.”

Locally, Senior Principal at the Grady County Jail Truman Bidelspach said the shutdown won't affect the jail's ability to draw money from federal witnesses and inmates during transfer. 

"I don't see them curtailing much of our operations," said Bidelspach. "They tend to keep them going despite the shutdown."

Chickasha resident Joyce Stockton said shutting down the government to defund the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was necessary because Obamacare isn’t good for the country.

“The American people, for the majority, do not want Obamacare,” Stockton said. “I know the Tea Party is being blamed in a big part for the shutdown, but basically, the Democrats are the ones who refused to negotiate.”

She said President Obama and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s refusal to negotiate with the Tea Party congressional leaders led the Tea Party to stand up and take action, and she’s proud of those leaders.

She noted that Oklahoma voted down the Affordable Care Act, yet the government “Crammed it down our throats.”

For those workers whose pay will be delayed, Stockton said she feels sorry for them, but believes right now most people won’t be affected, but going to National Parks is out of the question.

“There’s always a price to pay for doing the right thing,” she said. “But, had the Democrats been willing to negotiate, then it (the government shutdown) would not have happened.”

Stockton also said that nowhere in the Constitution does it say that health care will be provided to her, and if she wants health care, she said she’s aware she needs to pay for it. 

“As a woman, if I want birth control I need to pay for it. I want a mammogram I need to pay for it,” Stockton said. “It’s not the government’s business to provide everything I want. The government’s business is to provide comfort and safety for the American citizens.” 

As of press time their was no deal in place fund the government.