Working to Stop the Shutdown Amid a Divided Government and Imperial President
Last week, even after we in the House passed five different measures to fund the government, the government shut down due to Senate inaction. A shutdown of our government impacts all of us, especially the thousands of federal employees, including almost half of my Washington and Texas staff, and many others in the 27th District who are forced to stay at home without guarantee of pay. While the Senate and the President refuse to negotiate with us, my colleagues in the House and I are still here working and continuing to pass measures to keep our government running. This week, in bipartisan votes, we in the House passed:
"Provide Local Funding for the District of Columbia Act" (H.J. Res. 71): Allows our nation’s capital to continue operating using its own funding.
"Open Our Nation's Parks and Museums Act" (H.J. Res. 70): Opens all of our national parks and museums, including the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC that was initially closed to veterans by the Administration.
"Research for Lifesaving Cures Act" (H.J. Res. 73): Provides funding for the National Institute of Health (NIH), which is responsible for lifesaving medical innovations and cancer research.
"Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act" (H.R. 3230): Ensures the government shutdown doesn’t affect pay for our National Guard and Reserve. *This bill is similar to the "Pay Our Military Act", which President Obama signed into law this week. On Saturday, the Department of Defense (DoD) released guidance issued by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that directs civilian DoD employees furloughed due to the government shutdown to return to work beginning next week. This is great news for the civilian employees at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi (NASCC) and across the country who were wrongfully furloughed. When they were issued furlough notices last Tuesday, it wasn't in accordance with the bill we passed, so I'm extremely glad Secretary Hagel took that into consideration and reversed course.
"Honoring Our Promise to America’s Veterans Act" (H.J. Res. 72): Provides immediate funding for critical veterans benefits and services, including disability claims, education and training, and more.
"National Emergency and Disaster Recovery Act" (H.J. Res 85): Provides immediate funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act" (H.J. Res. 75): Provides immediate funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which serves nearly 9 million mothers and young children, and provides vital nutrition that poor families might otherwise be unable to afford.
"Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act" (H.R. 3223): Provides for compensation of federal employees furloughed due to the government shutdown. This is similar to bipartisan legislation enacted during previous shutdowns. *The White House voiced strong support for this bill on Friday, so we hope to see it signed into law next week.