Stop the Politics

Floor Speech

Date: Oct. 4, 2013
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MESSER. Mr. Speaker, there is a lot we disagree on around here. By now virtually every American knows that we disagree on ObamaCare. We ought not allow what divides us to stop us from coming together on issues where we all agree. There is nothing political about passing bills to help sick kids or pay our troops or open our national parks, or bills to help low-income women and children.

In recent days, the House has passed bipartisan bills to fund the areas of government like those I just discussed where we all agree. Each of these bills passed the House with dozens of votes from my Democratic colleagues. Each of these bills were unilaterally rejected by Senate Leader Harry Reid. The President has publicly declared that he will veto any of these bills if they reach his desk.

Let me repeat: the House in recent days has passed bills to help sick children, pay our troops, open our national parks and help low-income women and children. Dozens of my Democratic colleagues have voted for those bills. And the President and Harry Reid refuse to have them even considered. Why? It is awfully cynical to oppose helping people who are being hurt by the government shutdown, a shutdown, by the way, caused by the President's refusal to participate in the democratic process and negotiate.

Clearly, President Obama and Senator Reid are putting political leverage before the American people, and that is wrong. This shouldn't be about politics. It shouldn't be about the inside baseball games of Washington and who's going to win and who's going to lose in this debate; it should be about the American people. We have very big areas in which we disagree.

This is a time where that debate is coming to a head. Many of us believe the Federal Government is far too big. Many of us are concerned about a Federal Government that is $17 trillion in debt and robbing the next generation of their opportunity to live the American Dream. Many of us are concerned about ObamaCare and what it will mean to live in an America where government is in charge of 17 percent of our economy. Some on the other side of the aisle, disagree on each of those issues, but we do have areas where we agree. Common sense dictates that we would act on them.

I urge our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue supporting these commonsense proposals, and I urge Senator Reid and the President to do the right thing and allow those bills to become law. The American people don't want a government shutdown, but they also don't want the President's health care law. It's time for both parties to listen to the people, work out our differences, and find a common way forward.