House Democrats announced today that they are introducing a House Concurrent Resolution calling on Speaker Boehner to end the political gamesmanship that has dominated the federal budget process and led to the government shutdown. The resolution is jointly sponsored by House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) and Rep. Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown).
“To most Americans and Ohioans, it is clear that congressional Republicans have put ideology above people by leading our nation in to the shutdown,” said Rep. Hagan. “Aside from having tangible and detrimental effects for our economy—some of which are already being felt—the shutdown highlights how reckless Ohio Republicans are being with the needs and wants of average citizens. It is the shameful result of a desperate attempt to sabotage a healthcare policy they allegedly disagree with.”
The ill effects of the GOP-led shutdown have already been highly publicized during the first day of the halt in service. Some 52,000 federal employees in Ohio are now without paychecks. The Dayton Daily News reported that lost wages in the Miami Valley could total $5 million per day.
"The Republicans have revealed who they are and who they don't care about," said Leader Heard. "These are working people, seniors, mothers and infants. This is a pouty protest against a decision already made by the people. They failed to eliminate representative government. They failed to eliminate the President. Now they are directly attacking the citizens of this nation. I pray the people are paying attention."
Close to 8,700 civilian employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base were placed on unpaid leave at the start of the shutdown.
“Our national security and economic vitality are undermined when civilians in support of military operations are forced off the job and benefits for our veterans are potentially compromised,” said Rep. Connie Pillich (D-Montgomery). “Our men and women in uniform never tire from their service to our country. They deserve the same thoughtful service from their elected officials in Washington. Our nation’s veterans and service members warrant more than irresponsible politicking.”
The economic firm IHS Global Insight estimates that the shutdown will cost the nation’s economy about $300 million in lost economic output for every day the government is offline. Some programs like Head Start, WIC and university research programs will only be able to continue operating for two to three weeks in the midst of a government shutdown.
“This is a wake up call for Republicans in Ohio and all across the nation,” Rep. Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) said. “In just several days, the GOP's hollow rhetoric about government’s role in a functioning and prosperous society has been exposed to the American public. The same folks who have been calling for government to ‘get out of their way’ get their wish this week, but with harmful results for our economy and society. It's just irresponsible.”
Federal monuments, parks and museums in Ohio have closed, negatively impacting tourism in the state. Even the Library of Congress is no longer able to operate during the shutdown, closing its services to the public and researchers.
“John Boehner and Congressional Republicans have failed Ohio and the nation by driving a hard line agenda that benefits a small group of radical conservatives in Washington,” Rep. Hagan added. “This is what happens when Ohio Republicans gerrymander legislative districts so terribly. Republicans in Washington simply try to trump each other’s extremist views because they don’t have to be accountable to a broad based constituency. It’s reckless and sickening.”
On Monday, State Representative Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) joined 100 female state legislators to urge Congress to take meaningful action to avoid government shutdown. The group attempted to lobby D.C. lawmakers, with mixed results.
“Congress needs to get back to the business of serving the people,” Rep. Antonio said. “It is time to be accountable to the needs and wants of all Americans, not just a few radical interests.”