By Congressman Lacy Clay (D) Missouri
“Progressive politics, positive leadership for the 1st Congressional District"
September 30, 2013
Welcome to this week’s edition of “Backbone.”
Just a few hours before the Republican government shutdown…
Backbone question of the week: “Why is Speaker John Boehner more interested in saving his own job than protecting yours?
REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN LIKELY AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, AS HOUSE GOP TEA PARTY CONTINUES THEIR TANTRUM OVER THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
As you read this, we are only hours away from a Republican government shutdown. Speaker John Boehner caved into the anarchists in his own caucus to force House passage of another GOP tantrum-induced Continuing Resolution that would deprive 30 million Americans of affordable healthcare coverage.
As President Obama and I have said many times, “That’s not going to happen.”
House Republicans had a choice…pass the clean funding bill that the U.S. Senate sent over to keep the government functioning, or throw another Tea Party tantrum that makes a government shutdown almost certain, and brings the United States closer to defaulting on our debt.
With millions of jobs at stake and the economic recovery hanging in the balance, why are they wasting the nation’s time and the taxpayer’s money?
The truth is that the fight isn’t really between Democrats and Republicans, it’s between Republicans who want to do their job, and House GOP Tea Party members who prefer, in their own words, to employ a “Kill all the hostages” legislative strategy.
Here’s a link to a great story published in POLITICO that gives an inside view of the internal war that Speaker Boehner is facing.
GOP move on Obamacare all but ensures shutdowns
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/house-gop-budget-strategy-government-shutdown-97496.html#ixzz2gDpmH6he
REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN WILL DO REAL DAMAGE
This is one of those times when I would really like to be wrong…but barring a last minute surge of adult behavior in the House GOP caucus, it looks like the Republican government shutdown is going to happen. So let’s take a look at the damage that their irresponsible choice will cause to real Americans.
According to the House Appropriations Committee:
Selected Impacts of GOP government shutdown
- Hundreds of thousands of Federal employees would be immediately and indefinitely furloughed, and many Federal employees and contractors that continue to work would not be paid during the shutdown.
- Housing loans to low and middle income families in rural communities would be put on hold, as would start-up business loans for farmers and ranchers.
- SBA would stop approving applications for small businesses to obtain loans and loan guarantees. In a typical month, SBA approves over $1 billion in loan assistance to small businesses.
- ATF applications for gun dealers and explosive permits will be delayed.
- All facilities and services in our national parks would be closed, as would the Smithsonian, impacting the hundreds of thousands of people that visit these sites daily. This would have severely negative impacts on the surrounding local communities that rely on the revenue generated by travel and tourism to these destinations.
- Important government research into life-threatening diseases, environmental protection, and other areas would be halted.
So as you can see, the stakes are high, the damage will be very real…yet House Republicans are still more concerned about defending themselves against a potential future Tea Party primary challenge than doing the right thing for the American people.
- The government would stop issuing permits to conduct drilling operations on Federal lands, and would stop or delay environmental reviews of planned transportation and energy-related projects, keeping companies from working on these projects.
That’s selfish, irresponsible and wrong. And it proves that they have learned absolutely nothing from the last time they did this to the country. But I have a feeling that voters will remember in 2014.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT ENROLLMENT BEGINS TOMORROW!
As I mentioned last week, enrollment in Obamacare begins on Tuesday, October 1st. The Affordable Care Act is already helping millions of Americans and thousands of my own constituents in Missouri’s 1st congressional district.
Here is a great new link that explains the basics about how Obamacare can help you, your family, or your small business. For more information, please go to:
And if you want to enroll, go to www.healthcare.gov or visit my official office website at
Finally, if you would rather talk to an Obamacare expert by phone, please call (800) 318-2596, 24-hours a day.
SAVING AN AMERICAN TREASURE…THE DELTA QUEEN
In the midst of all this political nonsense, I was very pleased that H.R. 1961, legislation that I co-sponsored to allow the historic Delta Queen to continue transporting overnight passengers, passed the House with strong bipartisan support.
The reason that St. Louis was founded and grew into a great city was the mighty Mississippi. That river not only flows beneath the Gateway Arch, it also flows in the hearts of every St. Louisan, and every American who has ever read Mark Twain, or listened to Jazz & Blues, or wondered what it must have been like to go west with the pioneers as they pushed across the unknown frontier.
The Delta Queen is an irreplaceable historic vessel that should continue to travel America’s inland waterways. I was pleased to help extend the U.S. Coast Guard exemption to make that possible.
PIGFORD II SETTLEMENTS TO BLACK FARMERS BEGIN
As many of you know, along with my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus, I have fought long and hard to pursue justice for thousands of Black farmers across the country who were discriminated against by the USDA. This past week, African American farmers who had approved claims under the Pigford II settlement began receiving disbursements.
Between 1983 – 1997, thousands of African American farmers were denied low-interest loans, solely on the basis of their race. This blatant racial discrimination caused severe economic hardship and often resulted in those farmers losing their land.
Throughout the settlement process in both Pigford cases, the CBC and I have been fierce advocates for Black farmers who endured great suffering. I’m pleased to see justice finally being done.
CONGRATS TO JENNIFER TIDWELL, NOMINATED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA TO SERVE AS REGION VII DIRECTOR OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
I want to thank President Obama for nominating Ms. Jennifer Tidwell, a talented Missourian, to serve as the Region VII Director of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.
Jennifer has compiled a distinguished record of public service as the Deputy Director of the Missouri Housing Development Commission. Her expertise in affordable housing, economic development and helping urban entrepreneurs makes her uniquely qualified for this very important responsibility. I congratulate Jennifer, and I look forward to working closely with her.
Standing up for the progressive Democratic values that you and I believe in requires resources…your kind donation to my campaign is always appreciated at this secure link. Thanks for your friendship and support.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s edition.
If you have interesting items or political news that you would like me to mention next time, please send them to me at email@example.com
See you next time.
Paid for by Clay Jr. for Congress, Willis Lloyd, Treasurer