(Radio Iowa) – Another government shutdown is getting closer as Republicans in the U.S. House try to put a provision in the budge bill cut the funding the federal health care plan. Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says the budget should have been completed a long time ago. “It’s ridiculous that we’ve had all year to focus on how we can avoid a government shutdown and deal with the debt ceiling — and instead here were are a couple of weeks out before the end of the fiscal year, the expiration of the Farm Bill, and we are coming up with a solution that’s going to deny people of the benefits that this bill was intended to do,” Braley says.
During his weekly conference call with reporters Braley was asked how realistic he thought a shutdown might be. “Many of my Republican colleagues in the House have made it clear that they will stand their ground and support a shutdown of the federal government– which would mean people would not be getting their Social Security benefits , it would mean they might not have access to VA care and a host of other federal programs,” Braley.
A reporter pointed out that there hasn’t been a delay in people getting Social Security checks in the past under a shutdown. Braley says it’s a matter of semantics as it would impact the people who are newly enrolled in Social Security. “If one American citizen is denied a benefit they are eligible for, that’s something that should concern congress,” according to Braley. “And that’s what happens when the government shuts down –it has a dramatic impacts on people who are affected by federal programs when people who administer those programs aren’t working. “That’s a reality and that’s what’s going to happen.”
Braley, who is running for the U.S. Senate, says he has urged the Republican Speaker of the House to stand up to people in his party and keep congress in session next week to get a budget bill completed.