U.S. Senator Patty Murray calls on Republican leaders to drop partisan votes, work with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown
Thursday, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee delivered remarks on the Senate floor ahead of a partisan, Senate Republican vote to defund Planned Parenthood and cut off access to critical health care services. In her remarks, Murray discussed how Republicans are once again using a looming government shutdown to pander to their base despite the damaging consequences a shutdown would have for families and communities nationwide. Murray called on Republican leaders to drop their political show votes and work with Democrats to prevent another unnecessary crisis.
“I think many of us here today have been struck with a serious case of déjà vu,” Murray said. “Because once again – with a government shutdown looming – Republicans continue pandering to their base with political show votes, instead of working with Democrats to prevent a budget crisis. Once again, women’s health is being used as a Tea Party political football, with Republicans attempting to cut off women’s access to care. And once again, workers and families across the country are watching Congress and wondering whether their elected officials can do even the absolute bare minimum.”
Murray added, “…the government shutdown that Republicans pushed us into in 2013 didn’t do anything to help them repeal the Affordable Care Act, but it did have real consequences for the families and communities we represent, workers didn’t know when they would get their next paycheck, businesses felt the sting of fewer customers, and families across the country lost even more trust that elected officials in Washington, D.C. could get anything done. In my home state, thousands of employees at Joint Base Lewis-McChord were sent home with no return date in sight, startups couldn’t get small business loans, and national parks like Mt. Rainier shut down, keeping families away from true national treasures and customers away from small businesses that rely on tourism.”
Murray urged bipartisan leadership.
“Instead of working across the aisle on another bipartisan budget deal as Democrats pushed them to do months ago, Republicans are once again using a looming fiscal deadline as an opportunity to pander to their base, no matter what that means for the workers and families who are wondering whether the government will still be running in a few days,” she said, adding: “Since they clearly need another reminder: attacking women’s health doesn’t keep the government open and these shutdown threats will not work. They didn’t work in 2011, when House Republicans tried to defund Planned Parenthood in the budget at the last minute. They didn’t work in 2013, when extreme members of the GOP were dead-set on repealing Obamacare. And they will not work today.”
Murray then stated, “I’m going to be proud to vote against this partisan attempt to defund Planned Parenthood and take critical health care services away from millions of people. And then, I hope that – finally – Republicans will remember what they should have learned last Congress, accept that is enough is enough, and make sure women, workers, families and our economy are protected from a completely unnecessary crisis.”