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Short-term Relief Long-term Suffering

Washington D.C. — That is the reaction from Mother Lode Republican Congressman Tom McClintock on the passing of HR 2775 which ended the partial government shutdown.

Here is McClintock’s statement:


House Republicans have fought to protect the American people from the negative effects that Obamacare is already having on the accessibility, affordability and quality of American health care.


Senate Democrats, backed by the President, refused to resolve the differences between the two houses through the process of negotiation and compromise that is essential to any bicameral legislative system. As a result, the system seized up and produced a prolonged stalemate, a partial government shutdown and a looming debt crisis. Worse, unlike previous presidents who acted to minimize the damage caused by such an impasse, this President cynically acted to maximize public suffering and threatened to default on the nation’s sovereign debt.


I believe the measure presented to the House trades short-term relief for long-term suffering. It relieves the immediate economic damage of the shutdown that has fallen particularly hard on the gateway communities surrounding our national forests and parks, and it will calm credit markets roiled by the dysfunction that caused this impasse. This relief is much to be desired, and could have been achieved by the conference process sought by the House on September 30th.


I fear adoption of this bill will establish a precedent that will produce long-term harm that will far exceed any immediate relief. As a practical matter, the power of the purse will have shifted from the representatives of the people to the executive. The executive bureaucracies will be freed to churn out ever more outlandish regulations with no effective congressional review or check through the purse. The executive branch will set spending levels and whenever a fiscal deadline approaches; the Senate can simply refuse to negotiate with the House on any measure that does not meet its demands until Congress is faced with the Hobson’s choice of another shut-down or a default.


The debt will continue to mount, the restraints on government waste will continue to weaken, and the economic prosperity of the nation will continue to slowly bleed away.


As much as I share and respect the desire of those supporting this measure to end an immediate crisis, I fear it sets in motion a much bigger fiscal and healthcare crisis in the years ahead. For that reason, I have voted NO on HR 2775.