The Government Shutdown

Floor Speech

Date: Oct. 1, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. RODNEY DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, thank you to all my colleagues who've been trying to work hard to do what we came here to do, which is to govern. It's a disappointment to me that we're in a situation like this where government will begin to shut down.

That's not good for America, that's not good for our districts, and that's not good for the hardworking taxpayers of this country.

But I got to see politics at its worst over the last few days. We put forth a solution to stop a government shutdown. We asked for some simple corrections, simple changes to a law that many in this country--an overwhelming majority--say is going to be a train wreck. Even Democrats in the Senate say this law, as it is implemented, is going to be a train wreck.

Why did we do it now? Because today is the day that the ObamaCare exchanges open. Our opportunity to fix the problems that even many on the other side of the aisle see may have ended today. That's why we sent a bill that said defund ObamaCare, like many Americans want, but avoid a government shutdown.

The Senate said: We're not going to talk. We don't want to listen. So we said: Let's just delay it for a year, just like the President has delayed it for Big Business and many of his political allies. The Senate again said: No, we don't want to hear from you. We don't want to talk. And we said: Let's just delay the individual mandate, because the President and his political allies don't have to follow the law that was passed long before I got here. Again, the Senate said no.

And what pains me the most as a brand-new Member of Congress is when we asked the Senate last night to keep the government open but get rid of their own special congressional perk--an exemption in their own health care plan--they again said no.

That no was a thumb right at the American people. That no cut right through the fabric of our communities in this country when the Senate said they deserve a special perk more than anyone else in America. That's shameful.

That's why we're here today. We've put forth the plans to keep government running. And I believe we are going to continue to do that on our side of the aisle. It's time for the American people to demand governing, not just out of our side of the aisle, but out of both sides of the aisle. We need to demand leadership out of this administration. We need to demand leadership from the Democrat-controlled Senate.

What this has become is politics. It's become a blame game. Who's going to be blamed for this government shutdown? I guarantee both sides are going to be polling on this issue to determine who's going to get an advantage.

Politics should not determine policy in this institution. Politics should not come before governing in this institution. And I think the American people should demand action from everyone, and they should demand it now.