U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga) said in his Tuesday statement about the government shutdown that Republicans don't believe in government and what Lewis views as the good it can do for U.S. citizens and businesses.
"I am very sorry that some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle do not believe in government and the collective good it can do to help citizens, businesses and communities lead more humane, productive lives," said the Georgia Democrat. "They do not share our democratic values and seem to feel compassion and support should not be extended to every citizen, but should be reserved for a privileged few. They did not see fit to keep the federal government open to serve the millions of Americans who depend upon it. And they had no regard for the over 700,000 federal employees and their families whose lives hang in the balance because of this reckless and unnecessary action."
In his statement, Lewis laid out how Democrats have been fighting to keep programs such as Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare in place to protect it from Republicans' constant push to limit funding or get rid of them all together.
The government shut down on Tuesday because Republicans refused to fund President Barack Obama's signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), in the funding continuing resolution (CR) by October 1. Democrats, on the other hand, refused to pass a CR without funding for ACA while the President said he would veto it anyway.
“It is irresponsible for the House majority to allow the federal government to shutdown," concluded Lewis. "We must get back to the true work of governing, which involves fair negotiation and mutual compromise. That’s what the American people expect and that is what they deserve.”
Lewis is a civil rights icon serving in the House of Representatives since 1987. He represents Georgia's 5th congressional district.