Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer released the following statement after the Senate failed to negotiate with the House on a funding bill, causing the federal government to shut down after midnight on September 30:
“Three times the House sent bipartisan funding bills to the Senate, and three times they stripped it bare and said ‘it is our way or the highway’. And now they have even rejected our offer to sit down at a negotiating table and hash out our differences. How much more can we do? It is hard to tell if the President and the Senate have a commitment to keep the government running at all. As for me, I will continue to work with both my Republican and Democrat friends toward a solution. But it is very difficult to negotiate when the other side won’t even talk. Democrats insisted on shutting the government for the sake of keeping preferential treatment for politicians under Obamacare, while we voted for equal treatment under the law.”
All three funding bills were submitted by the House with bipartisan majorities, and each was stripped by the Senate with a strict party-line vote. In a final negotiation attempt, a bipartisan House majority voted to request a conference committee to work out the differences between funding bills, but this was also rejected by the Senate by a party-line vote of 54 to 46 on Tuesday morning.
The House funding bill sent to the Senate for conference committee requires Members of Congress, congressional staff, and political appointees including White House staff to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges without an employer subsidy for coverage, and calls for a one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act individual insurance mandate.