Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District has released the following statement on the government shutdown and House Republicans’ refusal to allow a vote on the Senate-passed Continuing Resolution.
“Enough is enough. New Mexico families are hurting as workers have been off the job for days and critical services have been delayed. It is long past time for Congress to act to end the government shutdown and make sure that the employees who have been furloughed through no fault of their own are made whole. It is long past time to make sure that our veterans, seniors, and all those who count on the benefits they have earned, receive what they deserve.
“There is only one way that Congress can end this shutdown today, and that is if Speaker John Boehner would stop appeasing the Tea Party wing of his party, stop holding the government hostage to end the Affordable Care Act, and bring up the compromise bill that has passed the Senate and would get bipartisan support in the House. That legislation contains a spending level that most House Democrats don’t like, including me. But Democrats are willing to compromise and accept a lower funding level in the short term to put an end to the shutdown.
“Some Tea Party Republicans don’t seem to know what they’re even fighting for. Republican Representative Marlin Stutzman recently said, ‘We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.’ How about opening the government and helping our communities?
“The political games need to stop. The piecemeal attempts to pit different groups against each other need to stop. Funding one piece of one department, as many of these Republicans bills do, will not get all our workers back on the job or ensure that New Mexicans have access to all the services they need.
“Every day, we hear more moderate Republicans speak out against the extreme elements in their party. I encourage them to stand with House Democrats who are ready to end the Tea Party shutdown, demand a vote on the one piece of legislation that can put a stop to this, and help the many New Mexicans and Americans who are hurting right now.”