Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Garamendi Statement on the Government Shutdown

September 30, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), who served as President Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of the Interior Department during the last government shutdown in the 1990s, released the following statement about the government shutdown:

“A government shutdown is deeply harmful for our country, seriously disrupting essential government services and knocking our economy down at a time when we should be building it up. Over a million workers for the Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration, Social Security Administration, National Parks, public health agencies, federal law enforcement, financial regulation, the Agriculture Department, the Small Business Administration, and other federal agencies will be furloughed, preventing them from protecting and serving the public. This will really hurt a variety of sectors in our economy, including agriculture, tourism, federal contractors, energy, and biotech. The possibility of a shutdown has already caused stocks to tumble and business to put plans for hiring on hold.

“My offices will remain open during this government shutdown to assist constituents with questions surrounding the shutdown and other concerns, meet with community advocates, speak with federal agency workers who are not furloughed about remaining services to our district, and work with other Members of Congress to end this crisis.

“Republican Governors and Senators, conservative newspapers, Wall Street, and major business groups have repeatedly and clearly warned Republican Leadership in the House of Representatives against shutting down the government in an attempt to defund and delay the Affordable Care Act. Instead of heeding this counsel, House Republican Leadership has thus far decided to listen to the Tea Party faction in Congress, which is dedicated to and even celebrating a government shutdown. Meanwhile, the Democrat-led Senate passed a bill to keep the government operating.

“Ironically, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues even with the shutdown. The ACA was passed by majorities in Congress, signed by the President, legally upheld by the Supreme Court, politically supported by the reelection of the President, and it has been the law of the land for over three years. Tearing down this law would deny health insurance coverage to millions of Americans and rip up the ACA’s Patient’s Bill of Rights. For example, people with cancer, diabetes, or other ‘pre-existing conditions’ can no longer be denied coverage by insurance companies. Americans will no longer face arbitrary caps on essential benefits. Millions of seniors have saved money through prescription drug discounts and free preventative care. Repealing the ACA would eliminate these consumer protections.

“Every law can be improved, but it should be done through a regular legislative process – not by taking the American economy hostage. I remain hopeful that we can end the shutdown and end the era of manufactured crises.”

Click here to learn more about the effects of the government shutdown.

Click here for statistics on the benefits that millions of Americans have already experienced because of the Affordable Care Act. For information on the Insurance Markets that have opened for people without employer sponsored health care or Medicare to obtain coverage, go to www.healthcare.gov or California’s market at www.coveredca.com.