A few Northern California House members were among those who took to the lectern moments ago during the latest floor debate on the impending federal government shutdown.
The House is debating the latest GOP plan: tying a one-year delay of Obamacare’s individual mandate to the continuing resolution that would keep the government funded and running past midnight tonight.
Rep. Sam Farr, D-Santa Cruz, called a shutdown “a huge mistake.” He said his party fought vehemently against the decision to go to war in Iraq, against welfare reform, and against lots of other things in recent decade, but with each, “we didn’t shut down the government after we lost that debate – instead, we tried to make it work.”
The shutdown, however, will hurt everyone from farmers trying to export food to mothers feeding their children with government aid, to students hungry for a school meal.
“It’s a mean, reckless, ill-conceived idea to shut down government,” Farr said.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, was a bit fierier still.
“Here we go again, Mr. Speaker – it’s really no secret that the Tea Party Republicans came here not really as public servants, but to destroy and decimate our government … This is, really, their dream vote,” Lee said. “It is shameful and it is downright wrong.”
“Make no mistake, the unnecessary GOP shutdown will have serious consequences for millions,” she said, and after more than 40 fruitless votes to cripple or repeal Obamacare, “this Tea Party obsession… to kill the government and to deny healthcare to millions of Americans, this must end… This hostage-taking must end.”
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was equally fiery in denouncing Obamacare. “It was passed in the middle of the night, 2,300 pages that nobody had ever read, and it’s having all kinds of consequences for our constituents, the American people,” Boehner said.
“Something has to be done, so my Republican colleagues and I thought we should defund the law for a year,” he said, noting the Senate disagreed.
But if the Obama administration has issued waivers and decided to delay enforcement of the employer mandate, why should ordinary Americans be stuck with a bill they can’t afford*, he asked. “It’s about fairness for the American people. Why don’t we make sure that every American is treated just like we are?”
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