Navy Yard Shooting, Defunding Obamacare, and Farm Bill Votes
Mass Shooting at the Washington Navy Yard
I am shocked and saddened by the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard this morning. While many details are still unclear, we do know that at least a dozen people lost their lives in this act of senseless violence. Dana and I are praying for those who were lost and their families, friends, and colleagues.
Last week, I joined 42 of my colleagues as we introduced a bill to fund the government for the next year while delaying and defunding Obamacare. H.J.Res. 62, the Stability, Security and Fairness Resolution, authored by Congressman Tom Graves, protects savings from the sequester and prioritizes funding for veterans and national defense. This legislation is being offered as an alternative to a proposed Continuing Resolution, or CR, that would fund the government until mid-December of this year. The current funding for the government expires on September 30th. Unless we pass an extension of that funding, the government will shut down on October 1st.
I am concerned that a government shutdown could damage our economy, and most importantly, would be harmful for our troops. We risk cutting off pay for military personnel or death benefits for families of soldiers killed in the line of duty until the government reopens at end of a shutdown.
We must do everything we can to defund Obamacare and protect patients from higher costs and reduced health care services, while doing our best to keep the government open. That’s why I’m joining Rep. Graves on an alternative solution—one that keeps the government open, and takes every possible action to delay and defund Obamacare until we next vote on spending and appropriations. It’s an approach that is favored and endorsed by many prominent conservatives, who want to see real progress on defunding Obamacare. You can learn more about the Stability, Security and Fairness Resolution here.
Action Item: The Next Step on the Farm Bill
This week, the House will be voting to reform nutrition programs in the Farm Bill. In July, the House decided to split the Farm Bill between farm programs and nutrition assistance (SNAP). We were able to save taxpayers nearly $14 billion from farm programs by improving efficiency, consolidating programs, and moving to a more market-oriented framework for support. Now, we’ll vote on a package of reforms that save taxpayers $40 billion by reducing waste and abuse and closing loopholes in the food stamp program. I’m pleased, because the legislation has many of the reforms I proposed in the SNAP Improvement Act in April. It also enforces work requirements for able-bodied adults without children. These work requirements are designed to help families become independent of the food stamp program. I think we’re making substantial progress to reduce waste and refocus our nutrition assistance on families who truly need help supplementing their grocery budget.