Washington, D.C. — For the first time in nearly two decades, the federal government has shut down because of Republican infighting in the House of Representatives. The federal shutdown coincides with the first day of open enrollment in the new health marketplaces. Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
It is irresponsible that the government shut down. And it was totally avoidable. The government has shut down because the House of Representatives and their Republican majority wanted to use the threat of a government shutdown to gut the Affordable Care Act, which has been the law of the land for more than three years.
This shutdown will harm middle-class families and American workers, women and children depending on nutrition assistance, and risk vital services for our veterans, seniors, homebuyers, and small businesses, all because of an ideological campaign to prevent 40 million people from getting access to health care.
Despite all of the conservative attacks on the law, the law will be implemented today. Starting today, millions of Americans will begin shopping in the new health care marketplaces to choose a health plan that fits their needs and their budget.
I hope more moderate voices will prevail and the government can operate again. This is the most basic responsibility of governing and it should not be subject to games. It is time to move on and focus on strengthening the middle class and creating jobs.
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