FAIRFIELD — Solano County’s congressional representatives are questioning the motivation of their peers in Congress over failure to prevent a partial government shutdown at midnight Tuesday.
Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, said attempts by Republicans in Congress to tie passage of a federal budget to implementation of the federal health care law are misplaced and will harm the economy.
Prior to the partial government shutdown, Garamendi in a prepared statement said such a shutdown “would be deeply harmful for our country” and would seriously disrupt essential services, “knocking our economy down at a time when we should be building it up.”
Garamendi served as President Bill Clinton’s deputy secretary of the Interior Department during the last government shutdown in the 1990s.
“This will really hurt a variety of sectors in our economy, including agriculture, tourism, federal contractors, energy and biotech,” he said.
Garamendi said the GOP’s attempts to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act are misplaced. He noted that implementation of the next phase of the Affordable Care Act continues even with a shutdown. He said there are ways to change the federal health care law that fall short of a partial government shutdown.
“Every law can be improved, but it should be done through a regular legislative process – not by taking the American economy hostage.,” he said.
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa, released a similar message as debate continued Monday in the House of Representatives. He called efforts that led to the partial shutdown “reckless and irresponsible.”
“Since the Affordable Care Act was passed, I have said that I am open to making improvements to the law,” he said.
Garamendi represents the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Fairfield, Suisun City and Vacaville, and Travis Air Force Base. Thompson represents the 5th Congressional District, which includes western Solano County just west of Vacaville and Fairfield, and Vallejo.
Reach Glen Faison at 427-6925 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GlenFaison.