On October 1, 2013, regrettably, many services of the federal government were suspended due to the inability of Congress to pass a continuing resolution, and until an agreement is reached, many services will remain closed. At this time, my offices remain open and can provide you with the information you need. To reach an office in your area, click here.
Know that many essential services such as pay for our troops, Social Security and Medicare checks for seniors, VA benefits, access to VA medical facilities and clinics, as well as unemployment benefits, food stamps and Medicaid will continue. However other federal services such as access to our National Parks, Social Security processing centers, and requests for processing gun permits will remain closed during the shutdown.
Yesterday House Republicans worked late into the night, attempting to end a shutdown by bridging the gap with the Senate. People sometimes forget that, constitutionally, the House is an equal body to Senate. In instances like this one, where we do not agree, the House and Senate have historically gone to a Conference Committee to negotiate and resolve our differences. This is what we have done for years and what we will need to do to resolve this problem. It is my hope that the Senate will come to the table as soon as possible, negotiate in good faith, and maybe even suggest a new solution, instead of tabling the House’s ideas along party-line votes.
I have been through several government shutdowns during my time here in Washington. They are never a good idea and we must try everything we can to find a resolution. We owe it to our servicemembers, our veterans, our federal workers, and to the American people to quickly resolve this issue and get the government back open for business. If there ever was a time for the President to step up and lead, this is that time.
Please let me know if you need assistance on a federal matter during the partial government shutdown or have other questions that I did not address in this newsletter. To email me, click here. For more information about the effects of a shutdown on federal agencies, or to view a frequently asked questions page, click here.
Congressman For All Alaska