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October 1, 2013

Senate majority refuses government funding bill

Sens. Enzi and Vitter call on members of Congress to include themselves, the White House in Obamacare

Washington, D.C. – Last night the Senate majority voted 54 to 46 to reject a House-approved funding resolution that would have prevented a shutdown of  the U.S. government for the first time in 17 years.

The House bill would have funded the government until Dec. 15 and delayed the individual mandate in the president’s health care law for one year.  It also included U.S. Senators Mike Enzi’s, R-Wyo., and David Vitter’s, R-La., amendment that would require all members of Congress, staff, the president, vice president, and political appointees to get their insurance through the new government exchanges.

The Senate majority doubled down again this morning and rejected an offer from the House to establish a bicameral conference committee to reconcile differences between the two chambers’ short-term spending bills.

Yesterday, Senators Enzi, Vitter, Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., called on the House and the Senate to pass a continuing resolution including their amendment to ensure that Washington falls under the same laws as the rest of America.

“We are trying every step that we can to fix it so that Congress has to live under the laws like everyone else,” Enzi said. “We thought it might be a good idea if we included the president, the vice-president, and the appointees of the president.  They ought to feel the same pain as America. I can’t believe the president wouldn’t want to be under a law that has his name on it.”

The federal government will remain partially shut down until an agreement can be worked out.  Enzi plans to focus on ending the shutdown, but will continue to support defunding the president’s health care law and he will not support overspending. 

“It is Congress’ constitutional responsibility to control what we spend taxpayer’s money on and paying to implement a destructive, unaffordable program like Obamacare is not something I can support. We have alternatives that will work better,” Enzi said.

Enzi said the shutdown would have been avoided if the Senate majority would have allowed individual appropriations bills to go through the proper committees and amendments to be considered on the floor. 

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