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Bill Cassidy Votes To Continue Government Shutdown, Refuses To Support Clean Funding Bill That Would End Shutdown Today

At Least 20 House Republicans Have Said They Would Vote For Clean Continuing Resolution To Re-Open Government, While Cassidy Continues To Say ‘NO’

Cassidy Helped Shut Down Federal Government In Order To Delay Same Health Care Reforms He Tried To Pass At State Level in ’07

New Orleans, Louisiana – As Louisiana families continue to feel the damaging effects of the government shutdown that he forced, Bill Cassidy blocked a vote to re-open the government last night, and doubled down on his opposition to the only bill that would end his government shutdown today.

Talking Points Memo reports:

“The House rejected Wednesday an effort by House Democrats to put a clean temporary spending bill on the floor, closing one opportunity to re-open the federal government.

“The complicated process went like this. House Republicans proposed a partial spending bill to fund the National Parks Service. House Democrats moved to replace that bill with the Senate-passed spending bill that would fund the government as a whole.

“House Republican leadership rejected the motion. House Democrats appealed the rejection. House Republicans moved to block the appeal, and the House then voted 230-194, largely along party lines, to block the appeal.”

Among those voting to block re-opening the government was Bill Cassidy, who helped shut down the government in order to delay the same health care reforms he tried to pass at the state level in 2007, back when President Obama was Candidate Obama.

Bill Cassidy then doubled down on his opposition to a clean funding bill now backed by a majority of the U.S. House including at least 20 GOP congressmen, and “defended the House GOP position against passing” the only bill that would immediately end his government shutdown.

“House Republicans voted to request a conference committee and have appointed eight conferees to wait at the negotiating table for Senate Democrats to show up,” he told the Times-Picayune.

Cassidy’s newfound interest in conferencing now is laughable, considering Senate Democrats spent six months trying to get House Republicans to conference, and the House GOP only feigned interest in going to conference after Cassidy’s shutdown had already begun.

“Bill Cassidy’s decision to shut down the government in order to block implementing the same health care reforms he tried to pass at the state level only six years ago was a shameful political calculation with damaging consequences that grow greater for Louisiana families every day,” said Campaign for Louisiana Communications Director Andrew Zucker. “Now Bill Cassidy is refusing to support the only piece of legislation that would end his government shutdown today. Instead of doubling down on his support for an indefinite government shutdown that hurts Louisiana families and threatens the full faith and credit of the United States, Bill Cassidy should set aside his personal political ambitions, end his ultimatums and support a clean funding bill that gets the government back up and running.”

BACKGROUND

10/2/13: Bill Cassidy Blocked The House From Voting To Fund The Government. [HJ Res 70, Vote #512, 10/2/13]

2007: Cassidy Proposed Louisiana “Create a Statewide Health Insurance Exchange” During State Senate Campaign. During his campaign for the State Senate, Cassidy proposed that Louisiana “create a statewide Health Insurance Exchange to lower insurance premiums, decrease administrative costs and allow flexibility in which benefits workers choose.” [Cassidy for State Senate, Website Archive, 2007]

Five Times, Cassidy Voted For Plans That Would Shutdown Government. [HJ Res 59, Vote #478, 9/20/13; CNN, 9/20/13; CNN, 9/29/13; Vote #498, 9/29/13; Vote 502, 9/30/13; Vote 504, 9/30/13; Vote 505, 10/1/13]

Cassidy Signed A Letter Asking GOP House Leadership Not To Support Any Spending Bill Unless The Affordable Care Act Is Defunded. “U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy joined more than one-third of U.S. House Republicans in urging the leadership to threaten to force a government shutdown unless Obamacare is defunded… The letter that Cassidy signed onto includes 80 of the House’s 233 Republicans and asks the GOP House leadership not to support any spending bill — including a needed continuing resolution to avoid a partial government shutdown after Sept. 30 — unless the Affordable Care Act health care law is defunded.” [The Advocate, 8/25/13]

Senate Democrats Have Been Attempting To Go To A Budget Conference For More Than Six Months, Only To Be Blocked 18 Times By Senate Republicans. “For Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Budget Committee, the move is ironic. She has been trying for more than a half-year to go to a conference to work out dramatic differences between the Senate budget and the House version. Senate and House Republicans have objected, repeatedly. Indeed, Murray and her colleagues asked 18 times. They have been blocked by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and a group of tea party Republicans led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).” [Huffington Post, 10/1/13]

Senate Republicans Objected To The 19th Attempt, Which Was To Go To Conference As Soon As A Clean CR Was Passed.  “Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) objected Wednesday to a Democratic proposal to fund the government and form a budget conference committee. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) offered Republicans an opportunity to go to conference on a budget after the House passes the Senate continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through Nov. 15.” [The Hill, 10/2/13]

House Republicans Have Refused To Appoint Members To A Budget Conference.  “Senate Democrats on Tuesday tried to step up pressure on House Republicans to begin formal negotiations on their competing budget blue prints, but the GOP is trying to postpone the appointment of a conference committee until they make more progress toward compromise in private talks. .. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R.Wis.) has had private meetings and conversations with Senate Budget Committee Chairmwoan Patty Murray (D.Wash.) but he has insisted that conferees not be appointed until preliminary talks get them closer to the ‘framework’ of an agreement.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/23/14]

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