A picture of Representative Marlin A. Stutzman
Marlin S.
Republican IN 3

About Rep. Marlin
  • Government Shutdown

    by Representative Marlin A. Stutzman

    Posted on 2013-10-02

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    STUTZMAN. Mr. Speaker, I come to the floor today to share what I believe is a lack of cooperation in Washington, D.C.

    I come from Indiana as a farmer who served in the Indiana Legislature at times where we had divided government. My belief is that the only way you're going to solve a problem when you have issues is to talk. When you have one party who's at the table and is willing to discuss the problems that we face and you have another party who refuses to come to the table, we're not going to get anything done.

    The gentleman from New York asked a little bit ago: Who is in charge in the Republican conference, is the Speaker of the House or the Tea Party faction? I'll tell you who I believe is in charge, and that is our Speaker with the authority from the American people who elected each of us to come to Washington to represent them and to fight for them and to fight against an overaggressive Federal Government, $17 trillion of debt, and to fight a health care law that only intrudes more and more on American lives.

    As I think about history, we have been in a government shutdown before. Under those circumstances, we had President Ronald Reagan, who was a Republican, and we had Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill. Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill shut down government seven different times during President Reagan's time in office, but President Reagan didn't just sit at the White House and refuse to talk. He didn't go out traveling around the country pointing the finger back at Congress. He invited Tip O'Neill down to the White House and sat down over a cup of coffee and talked the problems out. That's what leadership does. Leadership brings people to the table and finds a way to get the problems resolved.

    {time} 1145 Here in the Western Hemisphere, we work--whether it's in business, whether it's in our family budgets, whether it's in our family problems, we try to find a way for both sides to win because that's how we're going to walk away from the table feeling like we were successful and that we didn't break the principles that we believe in, that we're going to find a way to work together and it's going to be a win-win for both parties.

    But right now, we're seeing that it's going to be a win-lose situation, where President Obama and Senator Harry Reid are going to say: We're going to win and Republicans are going to lose. Because we have sent over four different compromises, four different proposals to the Senate, and what does the Senate do with them? They table them. They put them on the table and say: We're not going to even negotiate. We're not even going to talk.

    Now, is that what Tip O'Neill did? Is that what President Ronald Reagan did? Even after seven times, the government was shut down because what were they fighting over? Speaker Tip O'Neill was actually fighting for the Fairness Doctrine. It wasn't over bigger government spending or more government spending or $17 trillion of debt or a massive, much larger health care program. It was over an ideology. So if we can't even come to the table to talk about the problems that we face today, Washington is going to continue to be broken for a long time.

    I hear the frustration from my colleagues about the furloughs, and I sympathize with that because I have constituents in the Third District of Indiana who are furloughed. But at the same time, there have been many Americans who have been furloughed without pay, who don't have work because of the uncertainty that ObamaCare has placed on this economy. And I believe that it's time that we stand up for the American people rather than for the American Federal Government and start looking out for the people in this country and say: We're with you.


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