(Sept. 30) – Ahead of the impending government shutdown due to Congressional gridlock, Speaker Mark Ferrandino released the following statement:
“I am disappointed and saddened that we are once again at the brink of an entirely avoidable government shutdown due to political gamesmanship in Congress. House Republicans are holding our economy hostage in an effort to win political points with the Tea Party, and their reckless behavior could have severe consequences for Colorado.
“The stakes are higher than ever for Coloradans; in the aftermath of historic flooding we are racing to repair key infrastructure before the onset of winter, and it is absolutely irresponsible for members of Colorado’s own Congressional delegation to jeopardize even slightly the recovery for partisan political goals. A government shutdown would likely delay federal aid and complicate efforts to bring members of the National Guard in to help, not to mention bringing more stress and uncertainty into the situation. In addition, Congress must take action to raise the $100 million cap on federal highway emergency funds, so that Colorado’s highways and bridges can be rebuilt and our transportation system can see the relief it so desperately needs.
“Furthermore, a government shutdown could deal a major blow to our economy which is still recovering from the recession and the recent flood damage. A shutdown could delay financial support for small businesses, put up to 40,000 federal employees in Colorado on furlough, and delay benefits for seniors and veterans. We are doing everything we can to expedite the process of recovery. Unnecessary delays in this process will only serve to prolong the disastrous effects of the floods and weaken our economy.
“The House Republicans’ demands to delay and defund the Affordable Care Act in exchange for a budget compromise are out of step with the desires of their constituents; Coloradans rejected a 2010 ballot initiative that would have overturned the individual mandate. House Republicans need to stop toeing the party line at the expense of their fellow Coloradans and work alongside their colleagues to keep our government functioning and keep Colorado’s recovery on track.”