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Statement of Congressman Richard E. Neal on the Federal Government Shutdown and the Affordable Care Act

October 2, 2013
Press Release

(WASHINGTON) Congressman Richard E. Neal released the following statement today on the federal government shutdown and the Affordable Care Act:

"I am very disappointed that Tea Party intransigence has caused the first federal government shutdown in 17 years. The American people expect and deserve more from their elected representatives. More than 800,000 federal workers have already been furloughed without pay, and our economy will now lose $1 billion a day due to this unnecessary and unwise political stunt. I share the view of the vast majority of people in this country who believe this is no way to govern. Passing a budget and paying our bills should not be partisan or controversial. The full faith and credit of the United States cannot be put in jeopardy because of rigid ideology. The gamesmanship and brinkmanship has to stop, and the House of Representatives must to be allowed to approve a short term spending plan in a bipartisan manner.

I strongly oppose any effort to defund, delay or repeal the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. This law passed both houses of Congress in 2010, was the central issue of President Obama's successful re-election campaign in 2012, and ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court the same year. It will provide affordable and quality health care for more than 60 million people. Children can stay on their parent's health insurance until they are 26 years old. People with pre-existing medical conditions cannot be denied coverage. And you can't get kicked out if you get sick. In fact, millions of Americans are already beginning to enroll in the health insurance exchanges. Using the Affordable Care Act, which is the law of the land, as a tool to shut down the federal government was irresponsible and wrong. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reach a common sense solution to this self created crisis."