Friday, October 04, 2013

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin's Oct. 4 Senate Floor Speech on government shutdown

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan) made this statement on the Senate Floor today, Oct. 4, 2013:

House Speaker Boehner is sending to the Senate a series of bills to put one Band-Aid at a time on the House Republicans’ government shutdown.

It’s an obvious attempt to fool the American people into thinking that House Republicans are acting to end the shutdown. But their transparent tactic isn’t fooling many people, and here’s why:

The people of this country know that the harm of a government shutdown isn’t about the handful of programs that House Republicans will dangle in front of us.

The House Republican gambit will not put food inspectors back to work. It will not put Centers for Disease Control experts back to work tracking outbreaks of infectious diseases. It’s not going reopen Head Start classrooms for kids. Their piecemeal approach won’t restart lending to small businesses or bring back the FAA inspectors who make sure commercial aircraft are safe or restore hundreds of other vital services and functions.

No matter how many rifle-shot bills House Republicans try, all they do is leave our government full of holes. We could spend months legislating in bits and pieces while House Republicans ignore the obvious solution: The House should vote on the clean continuing resolution the Senate has sent to them, because that vote will end the shutdown.

The Republican bits-and-pieces strategy is like smashing a piece of crockery with a hammer, gluing two or three bits back together today, a couple more tomorrow, and two or three more the day after that. House Republicans should stop before they do any more damage, put down the hammer, pick up the Senate’s continuing resolution and at least put it to a vote. ... Click here to read the rest of Sen. Levin's speech on his Web site.

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