FOR RELEASE: October 2, 2013
CONTACT: Stephanie Niedringhaus, 202-347-9797 x224, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington DC: NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, deplores the current inability of Congress to govern responsibly and for the common good. They have turned democracy on its head, with one extreme faction of one party in the House of Representatives able to subvert the will of the people and even most of the legislators.
This dereliction of duty has forced a government shutdown with the potential to do great economic harm to our country.
And why has this happened? Because this small faction is determined to attack and dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which is now the law of the land.
So what does that mean? It means that these legislators want hardworking mail clerks in numerous government mailrooms to go without pay for some indeterminate period of time. Many of these mail clerks have disabilities and depend on their paychecks. More than that, they have “preexisting conditions” so this same group of legislators wants to reverse the guarantee that they can’t be denied health coverage in the future. This is beyond reprehensible.
These legislators are holding these mail clerks and the entire nation hostage as they continue their temper tantrum because the Affordable Care Act is still law. They, of course, have healthcare, paid for by all of us through our tax dollars. They seem not to care that millions of those for whom they are supposed to work are not assured of getting care in the event of illness or accident – and dare not to even dream of a routine medical assessment.
Not only is the shutdown of the government a travesty, but they are attempting piecemeal actions to restore some funding, allowing parts of the government to continue functioning. As they did in 2011, they are pandering mostly to the desires of the rich and powerful. They ignore those who are truly suffering:
NETWORK calls for the House and Senate to agree on a “clean” continuing resolution (CR) with no policy add-ons, no attack on the Affordable Care Act (or any parts of it), and to do it immediately.
Focus on the inconvenience of tourists speaks loudly to the distorted values of many Members of Congress. They continue to receive healthcare, they are able to feed themselves and their families, and they are not in danger of losing their homes or being evicted from an apartment. This past Sunday, the Catholic Scriptures spoke to those who are comfortable and don’t hold care for the less fortunate as the highest priority. Members of Congress should take heed.