Congressman Rice speaks out about government shutdown

The following was posted on Congressman Tom Rice's Facebook page on Wednesday, October 9:

Government Shutdown Update 10/9/13: One week ago today the Senate's unwillingness to negotiate resulted in a government shutdown. Since last Tuesday, the government has denied benefits to the families of our recently fallen soldiers, visitors have been turned away from parks, and cancer research has stalled. But, President Obama and Harry Reid are still refusing to talk with House Leadership.

With the debt ceiling quickly approaching (October 17), it is highly unlikely that the shutdown will be resolved by then. As more Americans start to feel the effects of the shutdown, many of you have called to express your support or frustration about the shutdown. Those frustrated want to know why the House won't just vote on a "clean CR" and must include ObamaCare in the shutdown debate. To be clear, I never supported shutting down the government. I do support a bipartisan conversation on the realities of ObamaCare. I believe the President's health care law should be applied fairly for every American and business, or it should be repealed all together. The president often shares stories to make his case for his policies. Allow me to do the same.

Marilyn, a senior citizen from Myrtle Beach, is working part time and can no longer see her doctor of 14 years. Another Seventh District resident and small business owner, Angela, received notice from her insurance company that they are dropping coverage for her business. Nancy, an educator in our district, said that she cannot afford to use the benefits she is paying for. By the time Nancy meets her deductible, which she has been told will be even higher next year, she will not be able to afford the 20% that she is required to pay. In addition, Nancy has two jobs to cover her bills, insurance, and taxes but next year, she will not be able to afford to go to the doctor! These are just three stories out of the hundreds of stories I have received via Facebook, email, and e-survey replies about the financial trap ObamaCare has put our hardworking middle class families in.

This is why my colleagues and I are fighting. We are fighting for fairness. Fairness for Marilyn, Nancy, and Angela and fairness for seniors, the middle class, and taxpayers everywhere. While the country continues to wait for Harry Reid and President Obama to talk to House leadership about the financial future of our country, my colleagues and I have passed nearly a dozen of bills that fund our government's essential programs. These too are stalled in the Senate because Harry Reid decided legislation establishing "National Chess Week" and confirming judicial nominations are much more pressing.

Today, I will vote in the House of Representatives to provide funding for the benefits promised to the families of nation's fallen soldiers. The House will also vote to provide the FAA with the necessary funding to keep current staffing levels so that American airspace and flights are safe. Please share this information with your family and friends so they are know what is going on in Washington regarding the slowdown of the federal government. Also, please continue to share your shutdown and ObamaCare stories with via Facebook or my website,

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