September 30, 2013

At this point on Monday morning, I believe we will probably experience a partial federal government shutdown beginning tomorrow. Like the manufactured debt crisis that cost us over $1 billion last year and the manufactured fiscal cliff crisis on New Year's Day, Republicans are forcing us to lurch from crisis to crisis.
This shutdown may go on for only a few days or it may become entangled with our need to approve debt ceiling legislation by October 17 in order to preserve the full faith and credit of the United States. Just the process of shutting down government services will cost an estimated $150 million a day.  This is "partial" because there have been a number of changes in the law since the Newt Gingrich Republican shutdown shortly after I began serving in Congress.  The immediate impact will be felt mainly by much of the federal workforce and by those who use a range of federal services. This scheme is not just about stopping the government from paying its bills; it will keep some Central Texas families from paying their own bills.  You can read more about the specifics here.
Instead of participating in a number of local events this past weekend, I was in Washington as Republicans rejected a continuing resolution to keep the government functioning and insisted upon another attack on the Affordable Care Act. Today it is expected that they will continue to say no, perhaps with some other ploy.   
Republicans seem prepared to do almost anything to ensure families are denied their right to obtain private insurance coverage through the new health insurance marketplaces and to share in the other benefits of the Affordable Care Act. They have rejected an offer to correct shortcomings in that law, insisting that we vote over and over again to repeal it without advancing any meaningful legislative alternative. For more information about what new opportunities are available for your family to access health insurance, please click here.
My offices in San Antonio, Austin, and Washington will remain open and ready to be responsive.