WASHINGTON — Asian Pacific American members of the House of Representatives, all Democrats, are condemning the government shutdown, which began Oct. 1, and Republican attempts to defund Obamacare. Following are some of their statements.
• Rep. Mark Takano of Riverside: “As of midnight tonight, the United States federal government has officially shut down due to a lack of appropriations. The actions taken in recent days by Speaker (John) Boehner and the House Republicans have been shameful. They have pulled nearly every legislative trick in the book to force Senate Leader (Harry) Reid to give in to their unyielding demand to strip health care away from millions of Americans.
“Whether a deal is struck in the next few hours or not, my office will be open tomorrow and will continue to serve the residents of California’s 41st Congressional District. It is a commitment that I made and, despite Congress’ failings, one I will continue to uphold.”
• Rep. Judy Chu of Pasadena: “This is political brinksmanship at its worst. Republicans used the well-being of the American people as a bargaining chip – they tried to extort their way into a delay of the Affordable Care Act. They failed, but in the process they shut down the federal government.
“Pay for military personnel and the families of fallen soldiers will stop until the shutdown ends. Loans from the Small Business Administration that help create new jobs all across America will be shut off, right when our economy needs them most. This is absolutely reckless behavior, and the American people deserve better.”
• Rep. Doris Matsui of Sacramento: “It is unacceptable that the House Republican leadership has chosen to put partisan politics over the welfare of our country and the American public, leading to the first government shutdown in 17 years. A shutdown of the federal government will harm hard working families, small businesses, and will threaten our economic recovery.
“We must end this shutdown immediately. I call on Speaker Boehner to bring to the floor a clean bill to fund the government and let Congress do its job.”
• Rep. Mike Honda of San Jose: “Because of the inability of the Republican House majority to pass a budget unless it denies life-saving health care coverage to millions of Americans, the federal government shut down at midnight tonight. Unfortunately, this means that many services that our citizens rely on – including IRS call centers, regulatory agencies, and certain functions of the Social Security Administration and Small Business Administration – will be closed until a funding agreement can be reached.
“I plan to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on a resolution, and hope Congress can get back to the people’s work of creating jobs, growing our economy, strengthening education, passing immigration reform, and helping children and families across the nation strive for a brighter future.”
• Rep. Ami Bera of Rancho Cordova: “I’m disappointed and frustrated that Congress failed the American people tonight, allowing the government to shut down because of pointless partisan politics. This is not what the American people want or need. We must stop the finger-pointing, start acting like adults, and do the job we were elected to do: pass a responsible budget.
“I am ready to keep working on this issue with people from both parties until we find a solution, and I hope that it is resolved soon. Our leaders must find the courage to put the American people first.”
• Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii: “This is an embarrassing day for Congress. It is unfortunate that Speaker Boehner and his caucus insisted on putting the priorities of a radical segment in their party above those of the American people. With so much at stake and time ticking away, they continued down this misguided path instead of working with Democrats to bring a clean spending bill to the floor and keep the government’s doors open. In a time that demanded leadership, they offered brinkmanship.
“I believe it is inappropriate to take this debate to a joint conference, which can be a long and time-consuming process, because it is critical that we end this government shutdown immediately and try to reverse the damage this uncertainty has already caused our citizens and economy. I will continue to urge Speaker Boehner to bring a clean spending bill to the floor.”
• Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii: “I am deeply disappointed by the political rhetoric and games that have been played over the past week. Valid concerns and issues have been raised, but are issues that should be debated and solved without holding our government hostage, with countless people in Hawaii and across the nation feeling the brunt of the painful impacts.
“I encourage my constituents to review the resources available on my website during the shutdown, as I continue to work towards a common-sense solution to this unnecessary shutdown as soon as possible.”
• Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois: “Because of the demands of extremists in Congress, today, in communities across our country, crucial services have halted. Hundreds of thousands of middle-class employees have been told to stay home without pay. All because Congress has failed to carry out the most basic of its constitutional duties – to keep this government funded.
“The bills we will be considering tonight will not fix the government shutdown. I am the first to support our military men and women and our veterans, ensuring our citizens have access to their national parks is a priority … However, this piece-meal approach will only prolong a shutdown. We cannot keep the government running piece by piece. All, not just some, of my constituents deserve service.
“I urge the House leadership to end the shutdown today by passing the continuing resolution that was approved by the Senate, and then get together to conference on a long-term budget that addresses deficit reduction and creates jobs.”
• Rep. Grace Meng of New York: “The latest attempts to defund the Affordable Care Act instead of keeping our government open show a complete disregard for millions of Americans and our economy. It is my hope that Congress will be able to work together to resolve its differences through the proper legislative process, without threatening the nation’s ability to function. The health-care law has nothing to do with the budget. It has nothing to do funding federal agencies. It has nothing to do with our country paying its bills.
“The fear to negotiate sets a terrible precedent. Democrats never insisted or threatened to close down the government in exchange for passing measures important to us such as immigration reform or gun control. And when our party controlled the House several years ago, Democrats never made these types of demands to the Republican president who was in office at the time.
“This shutdown is not good for anybody, and it wastes valuable time dealing with many of the important issues Americans need the House and Senate to tackle such as further strengthening our economy, immigration reform, raising the debt ceiling and other critical problems that require our attention. I urge Congress to do what is right for our country and end the shutdown.”
• Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia: “Due to the ongoing shutdown of the federal government, my district offices in Newport News and Richmond are closed. My Washington office is open but with a skeleton staff. I encourage you to weigh in about how the shutdown is impacting you, your families, and your neighbors through my website, Facebook page, and on Twitter. It is my hope that this shutdown will not be unnecessarily drawn out and that the Republican leadership will bring a clean continuing resolution to the floor for a vote as soon as possible.”