EUGENE, Ore. — U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement Monday night on the shutdown of the government due to a lapse in appropriations.
“Today’s events have been deeply unfortunate. The shutdown of the government will do great damage to millions of Americans in many walks of life, from the closure of national parks, to unapproved loans for small businesses, to delayed benefits for our veterans and seniors.
“Moreover, this entire manufactured crisis hurts American families, slowing business investments that would otherwise put Americans to work. Throw in the plan by some to create another crisis in a few weeks over the debt ceiling, and the damage is substantial.
“Tonight’s failure is rooted in the determination of some in Congress to use the threat to drive the American economy over the cliff as a lever to win policy positions on health care that were lost during regular Congressional debate and in the Presidential election.
“This hostage-taking is wrong-headed in the extreme and must be rejected by those on the right and left seeking common sense restoration of an ordinary budget process. The beginning for that path is for a small band of Republicans in the Senate to end their six-month filibuster that has blocked meetings of the bicameral Budget Conference Committee.
“Some in the House have asked for the Senate to compromise. The Senate has compromised, adopting the House spending number for the Continuing Resolution rather than the Senate number. Unfortunately, the House cannot take yes for an answer.
“Oregonians are very clear that they want their representatives working together to solve real problems. We owe it to the families across America who are depending on us to take on the big challenges we face as a nation.”