Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Charlie Dent's Finest Moment Helps End Government Shutdown
At a town hall meeting in Allentown in late August, I was asked by one of my constituents if I would be willing to shutdown the government in order to defund Obamacare.
I said “No.”
I told the people gathered there it was a flawed tactic that would not actually defund Obamacare.
Specifically, I said tying defunding of Obamacare to a short term government funding measure would result in exactly two things: a government shutdown and Obamacare remaining funded.
When the time for the vote came, I did what I said I would, and voted against shutting down the government.
Today, 16 days after this misguided tactic drove us into a government shutdown, I voted to reopen the government and prevent a devastating roiling of our markets, a likely credit down grade and an imminent default.
This legislation tonight needed to be supported but should not be celebrated; there should be no victory laps or spiking the football. It is my hope that the temporary conclusion of this difficult period will demonstrate to many of my colleagues the need to affirmatively govern this nation.
Over the past few months, particularly the last two weeks, I have worked tirelessly with both Democrats and Republicans to find a solution and break this impasse. These discussions have laid a strong foundation that I will continue to build on as we look to address America’s out of control spending, increasing debt burden, and challenges associated with Obamacare.
I am pleased that cooler heads have finally prevailed in this instance, and now it is time for all of us to come together to handle the many difficult problems our great nation faces.
Updated 11:30 PM: The Lehigh Valley's other Congressman, Matt Cartwright, deserves credit for voting to end the shutdown, too. Here are his remarks:
“Today, the American people have seen Congress reach a bipartisan agreement to reopen the government and avert a default on the nation’s bills. While the compromise that has been reached will provide our economy with the stability it needs, we must move forward together and do more.
“After more than two weeks spent facing off across a partisan divide differences were set aside to prevent disaster.
“Part of this agreement instructs leaders to name conferees to a budget conference committee. The hope is that this action will assure Congress continues the work of setting this country on a path to job growth and fiscal sustainability. The conference committee, which is charged with producing its negotiated budget package in December, is the appropriate place to discuss our differing views on the best way to chart a course for economic growth.
“Now we must return to our most important job – expanding the economy and protecting middle-class families.
“Let’s get together and actually pass a budget.”