Congressman Ron Barber was one of nine Democrats who joined with Republicans to support a continuing resolution that would have kept the federal government open while delaying for one year the Affordable Care Act's mandate requiring individuals to buy health insurance and blocking the Obama administration's effort to help congressional staffers to purchase health insurance on the health-insurance exchanges.
The legislation was rejected by the U.S. Senate, leading to a federal government shutdown about an hour ago.
Tonight I voted to keep the government from shutting down. A government shutdown would hurt the economies of Arizona and our nation. The American people deserve a government that can work together even when they disagree. This was not a perfect bill, but I voted for a reasonable solution to get things done. That's why the people of Southern Arizona sent me to Congress.
Beginning tomorrow, under the Affordable Care Act, many Americans will begin purchasing health insurance for the first time. Giving them an extra year before charging them penalties is the right thing to do. Tonight my vote to delay the individual mandate for one year did just that.
America deserves better. My wife Nancy and I couldn't run a small business this way, and it’s no way to run a country. I call on my colleagues to stop this cycle of brinkmanship and come together for common-sense solutions.