SEATTLE -- Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is calling on her party's leaders to act to end the government shutdown.
The Republican lawmaker said in a statement Tuesday it is time for her colleagues to face reality. She noted that the White House and Senate have blocked efforts to change President Barack Obama's health care law, and she says nothing positive will be achieved by prolonging the shutdown any longer.
Herrera Beutler says she has refrained from public comment on the House budget negotiating strategy, despite her own skepticism. She still voiced support for changes on the health care law but says the shutdown is hurting that cause, not helping it.
Lawmakers are seeking to end the government shutdown this week and avoid a Treasury default.
Jaime Herrera Beutler released the following statement on her webpage:
“Despite my skepticism, until now I have refrained from public comment on the House budget negotiating strategy. I wanted to give House Republican leaders leeway to craft the best deal they could. But it’s time to reopen the government and ensure we don’t default on our debt. I will not vote for poison pills that have no chance of passing the Senate or being signed into law.
“Make no mistake -- I have consistently opposed the Affordable Care Act, because it harms more people than it helps and it makes promises that the nation cannot afford to keep. But this President will not bend or compromise on this issue even if the shutdown lasts until the end of his term, and this continued fighting is making it less likely that we can make progress on this issue or on improving our economy or lowering our debt.
“This does not mean surrendering on the issue of the Affordable Care Act. I believe that the case will become clearer about the damage the Affordable Care Act is doing to our economy and our health care system. With time, and with new leadership in D.C. we can change that Act. But this shutdown is hurting our cause, not helping it.
“If this shutdown lasts much longer, negative impacts could be widespread. We are being told that veterans’ earned benefits will soon stop if the shutdown persists. The contingency funds that have supported food assistance for low income women, infants and children will be gone soon. Fishermen’s livelihoods are at stake as they can’t get the NOAA permits to harvest crabs and other fish, making narrow fishing seasons even narrower.
“In Longview, Washington, people who are critically injured must now wait for life flights to come from Oregon. The local hospital’s helicopter can’t get FAA certification during a shutdown. I can't stand by and let this happen any longer.
“Like it or not, the White House and Senate have blocked House efforts to address the issues with the Affordable Care Act. Nothing positive will be achieved by prolonging this shutdown any longer, or crossing the debt limit threshold. It’s time for my colleagues to face reality.”