WASHINGTON, D.C.– Utah’s congressional delegation unanimously voted to pass a resolution to keep funding the government, but only if implementation of the Affordable Care Act was postponed for another year.
The Republican-controlled House passed the spending resolution and sent it to the Democrat-controlled Senate which rejected it. Both sides refused to give an inch which has resulted in a government shutdown. While essential functions of government will stay open, nonessential ones will close.
In Washington County, one of the biggest immediate affects will be on Zion National Park. While the Town of Springdale will remain open for business, the majority Zion National Park will not. It, along with other national parks and monuments, will close down until Congress manages to pass new legislation the partisans can agree with.
Here are statements issued by some of the members of the Utah’s congressional delegation on Congress’s inability to pass new spending legislation thereby leading to the the shutdown.
Sen. Orrin Hatch:
This is a dark moment in our nation’s history, and Utahns have every right to be disappointed in their government.
The fact is that Senate Democrats failed to take common sense action to fund the government and change Obamacare to protect the American people. Republicans have listened to the American people who have been clear that they don’t think Obamacare is ready for prime-time, and the House passed two pieces of legislation to fund the government while delaying the tax penalty for individuals, repealing the law’s requirement that everyone purchase health insurance, and to repeal the $31 million medical device tax. The Obama Administration has delayed parts of the health law six times, and Congress has voted to change it seven more times because the law’s a disaster. Now, ObamaCare is going live and state after state is saying they don’t have confidence that people’s privacy will be protected or that folks won’t be defrauded. So why is it that the President can delay parts of ObamaCare, but Congress can’t? To not give individuals and hard-working families a reprieve from this disastrous law – the same treatment that employers have already been given by this White House – is nonsensical. That Senate Democrats shut down the government over listening to the American people is shameful.
Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah District 2
Like the American people, I want to keep the government open and operational. But President Obama and the democratic senate leadership have refused to talk with us. The majority of the nation and Utahns want to repeal and defund Obamacare, one of the most destructive and expensive laws ever passed. This is an important and necessary fight. If Obamacare is implemented, it will come with a $1.3 trillion price tag, paid for by increased health premiums and taxes – Increased costs that hard working American families simply can’t afford. House Republicans have repeatedly come to the table to negotiate. I wish the President and Harry Reed would do the same.”
Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah District 4
Again today I voted to keep the government running. Included were two additional provisions: one that makes sure Members of Congress and staff aren’t given special treatment with regard to Obamacare, and two, to delay the bill’s individual mandate for one year. However my top priority is to keep the government operating. I am disappointed that the leadership of the House of Representatives lost sight of what should have been a straight up or down vote on a funding bill. Now more than ever, it is critically important that we work together in the name of getting things done.
Sen. Mike Lee and Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz also voted for the resolution to fund the government while also defunding the ACA and delaying the implementation of the individual mandate.
Ed. note: Sen. Hatch’s statement included in this report placing the medical device tax at $31 million appears to be an error, the medical device excise tax has been widely translated at about $31 billion, with a fair amount of bipartisan disfavor for the tax. While the analysis is beyond the scope of this report, linked here is the IRS webpage for frequently asked questions on the tax; it does not translate the tax to dollars, however.
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