WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released the following statement after voting to pass H.J.Res. 59, which will continue to fund the federal government and preserve health care for families in Connecticut and across the country:
This vote signaled the desire of most Senators to spare American families from the giant game of chicken that Tea Party Republicans are playing with our economy. I am happy to have a debate over the benefits of the health care reform law, but we shouldn't shut down the government just because the federal budget is a convenient hostage for opponents of the law. The American people, and a majority of the Senate, are through with members throwing these temper tantrums at our economy’s expense.
Now, the House of Representatives must pass this bill so that the government can operate beyond Monday night. Speaker Boehner and House Republicans need to face the reality of what a government shutdown means to the American people. Social security checks for seniors enrolling in the program for the first time would be delayed, as would the education and pension benefits that America’s veterans have earned. Small business owners would lose out on critical SBA loans—which business owners in Connecticut use every day to grow jobs and boost their local economies. Paychecks for active duty and civilian military personnel would be delayed. And, more broadly, financial markets would react negatively, hurting the value of pension funds and investment accounts. These are just a few of the dangerous side effects we could see if the government shuts down.
It’s time for these members to get serious and focus on the task at hand: passing a responsible budget. There is a time and a place to debate health care, just like there is a time and place to debate energy policy and immigration and education—but not when the funding of the federal government, and all the lives that are impacted by it, hang in the balance.