A picture of Representative Ami Bera
Ami B.
Democrat CA 7

About Rep. Ami
  • Government Shutdown

    by Representative Ami Bera

    Posted on 2013-10-01

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    BERA of California. Mr. Speaker, last night, just after midnight, you allowed the government to shut down.



    Enough with the gimmicks. I'm not up here to play the blame game, to blame Republicans, to blame the President, to blame the Senate, to blame Democrats. That isn't what the American people want to hear. They want us to do our work. They want us to come together.

    Mr. Speaker, we need leadership at this juncture. You're the Speaker of the House, and this is a House that has both Democrats in it and Republicans. We need your leadership at this moment to open the government and serve the American people. That's what they want to see.

    Mr. Speaker, you must be willing to work with Democrats in this body. We are ready and waiting to work with you. My office is open. I'm a doctor, and I'm happy to work with you on the Affordable Care Act and make this about taking care of patients, make this about the American people. We stand ready to do the country's work, but we need your leadership and your willingness to work with Democrats.

    The Senate has passed a bill that will keep the government open. Bring it to the floor. If the Republicans don't like it, they'll vote against it. But bring it to the floor and give us a chance to vote up or down. That's how government should work. Give us a chance, as a full body, to vote up or down. We're here to work with you, Mr. Speaker, but bring that clean bill to the floor. Don't attach gimmicks to it.

    Keeping government open isn't about attaching a gimmick like access to birth control pills. That isn't what this is about. Stop attaching gimmicks. We are ready to work with you to strengthen and fix the Affordable Care Act and make it about the American patient, but this is about keeping government open. Do your job, Mr. Speaker. We need your leadership.

    We've got to stop playing the blame game. This is surreal right now. This is not an episode of ``The West Wing.'' This is real life. In fact, I'm going to read a letter from two constituents of mine, Matthew and Michelle. This is the real world.

    Representative Bera, I realize you're not the cause of the looming shutdown, but I'm begging you to do everything you can in your power to keep the shutdown from happening. My wedding is literally going to be ruined if the shutdown happens as we are to marry in Glacier National Park on October 13 . . . It is messing up so many people's lives . . . because some elected people in Washington can't compromise.

    {time} 1015 Here's what Matthew wrote: The constant bickering and self-interest rather than the interests of the general public seem to be a common focus for many in Congress. Start working together and getting things done.

    Mr. Speaker, this is not the time for bickering. We need to step up and do our job for all the Matthews and Michelles in America. They're watching, and they're the ones who are suffering. We need to put their interests ahead of political parties, ahead of individual interests.

    We got elected to do a job and put the people's interests first. ``We, the people.'' This is the United States of America. We have to start working together in a united way. Mr. Speaker, let's do our work. We stand ready to work and reopen the government. Bring the bill to the floor.

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