(Rep. Joe Heck) – Over the past three years I have served the men, women, and families of Nevada’s 3rd District in Congress with one goal in mind: working on solutions that improve the lives of southern Nevadans. At times it has been difficult to find a path through the partisan gridlock that grips Washington, but I’m proud of the successes we’ve had along the way.
Today our government is partially shut down, and with partisan activists on both sides trying to assign blame, I wanted you to hear, directly from me, why this has happened.
This stalemate is about more than just funding Obamacare. It is about the refusal of Senate Democrats under the “leadership” of Harry Reid to engage in the legislative process. I have joined my colleagues in the House four times during the last week to pass bills that keep the federal government open. Still, the Senate refuses to act.
I voted for a bill that eliminates healthcare subsidies for Members of Congress, which was promptly squashed in the Senate. In fact, I have voted for every bill that has come up for a vote in the House which funds the government and I have never voted to shut down the government.
President Obama says he won’t compromise on his disastrous health care law because it is the “law of the land,” yet he has changed the law five different times to give special treatment to his allies, big businesses, and campaign contributors.
While he has no problem making exceptions for his friends, the president and his colleagues in the Senate refuse to treat all Americans equally by giving them the same one-year reprieve from the law’s mandates that he gave to big businesses.
Since coming to Congress I have fought to protect you from the devastating effects of Obamacare by voting to repeal and replace the flawed law.
I have worked on comprehensive legislation which would keep the important consumer protections while removing the costly and burdensome provisions such as the individual mandate, which forces every American to purchase health insurance regardless of the cost, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which comes between you and your doctor, and the medical device tax, which will stifle innovation, increase healthcare costs, and cost our economy jobs it can ill-afford to lose.
Please believe me when I tell you that I am as frustrated as you are about the current impasse in Congress. The issues that led us to this point are complicated, and rather than work with the House on a solution Democrats have taken to the airwaves with partisan, political attacks.
Just last week, a senior White House adviser appeared on CNN to say that the White House will not negotiate with “people with a bomb strapped to their chest.” Comparing Republicans to suicide-bombers is not leadership, and the American people deserve better.
I know that you are sick and tired of the partisan bickering in Washington and politicians in both parties putting politics ahead of solutions. So am I. Rest assured that I will continue to work toward meaningful solutions to the issues we face. While the prevailing culture in Washington may be one of political opportunism, I remain singularly focused on fighting for what is right on behalf of all Southern Nevadans and stand ready to help those in need.
(Dr. Heck is a Republican representing Nevada’s Third Congressional District)