Allen West rips GOP leaders on stopgap vote; Rooney, Hastings, Deutch weigh in on shutdownby George Bennett | April 8th, 2011
The largely partisan vote and the current fight over tonight’s looming government shutdown are merely previews of bigger budget battles to come.
U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, had pledged he wouldn’t vote for any more stopgap bills, but unhappily voted for Thursday’s measure. He blamed Democrats for the situation reaching its current point, but he released a statement that also ripped the Republican House leadership for making military pay a “bargaining chip” in the budget debate.
“The House majority has now placed the funding for the Department of Defense and the funding for the troops down as a bargaining chip…I am disgusted at the perception that the leaders in my own party who did not move a defense bill earlier and are now using the men and women in uniform, the individuals who are defending our freedom, as a way to pass yet another continuing resolution,” said West, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel.
He added: “my Yes vote today was for my brothers and sisters in uniform. My no sentiment reflects a disappointment in my own leadership.”
Read other statements from other members of Palm Beach County’s congressional delegation after the jump…
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton: “Compromise is the only way forward when we have a Democratic President, Democratic-led Senate, and Republican-led House. President Obama has met Republicans more than half way, offering the largest cut to federal domestic spending in history, without any compromise in return.
“The tea party’s willingness to subject the American people to a devastating government shutdown over a series of politically charged cuts to women’s health, education, and the environment proves this debate is more about political grandstanding by irrational ideologues than actual deficit reduction.”U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta: “If Senate Democrats fail to act and the government shuts down, that would force our troops, who are now fighting three wars, to work without pay. That is unacceptable. Our troops and their families have sacrificed too much already to become victims of the Senate Democrats’ failure to lead – or even follow – on a long-term bill to fund the government and cut spending.
“This bill ensures that our troops continue to receive paychecks, so they do not have to worry that their families will fall behind on their mortgages and bills while they fight our wars. No more excuses, no more privately rooting for a shutdown – Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats need to get serious. They need to act.”
“Federal workers are consumers just like every other American and taking money out of their pockets harms consumer demand at a time when our economy needs it most. This shutdown will make it difficult for these dedicated workers to pay their everyday expenses. A shutdown poses a direct threat to America’s economic recovery.
“It is completely mind-boggling that Republicans are willing to put the well-being of the nation at risk rather than put forward a clean Continuing Resolution with no ideological riders in order to keep the federal government operating while negotiations on long-term spending continue. This perpetuates their ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ attitude and is a reckless way to operate. This is not the time to force controversial policies into an emergency spending measure.
“There are people struggling to make it in this difficult economy. They are trying to keep their jobs, keep their homes, keep their families together, and keep their children in school. It is time to put partisan politics aside, get a deal on the table that will not shutdown the government, and do what is right for this nation.”