WV delegation reacts to partial government shutdown - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV delegation reacts to partial government shutdown

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Congress has launched a partial government shutdown Oct. 1, on the heels of a dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law, which stalled a temporary funding bill.

The partial shutdown will force about 800,000 federal workers off the job and suspend most non-essential federal programs and services.

The shutdown will close national parks, museums along the Washington Mall and the U.S. Capitol visitors center. Those classified as essential government employees, which includes air traffic controllers, Border Patrol agents and most food inspectors, will continue to work. President Obama's health care law was unaffected. Enrollment is open for millions of people who are shopping for medical insurance.

West Virginia's Congressional delegation released statements about the partial shutdown.

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said he could not think of a time when lawmakers have acted so recklessly.

"Overseeing the operations of our federal government is a profoundly serious responsibility, entrusted to Congress by the American people," Rockefeller said in a statement. "And today, a very vocal few are abdicating that moral and Constitutional responsibility through a vicious campaign to deny health care coverage to millions of Americans.

"I've served in the United States Senate long enough to know that even in times of deep disagreement, it's wrong to hold one issue hostage to another."

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he continues to have concerns with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

"That being said, I do not believe that this issue should be used to shut down the government, and I will not vote to shut down the government," Manchin said in a statement. "We need to work together as Americans to solve these problems so we can get our economy back on track and create American jobs."

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said she voted for a continuing resolution that would have averted a government shutdown, while at the same time ending the special health insurance subsidy provided to Members of Congress.

"I am deeply disappointed that Sept. 30 has come and gone without passage of a continuing resolution to keep the federal government open," Capito said in a statement. "Congress is supposed to be about fixing problems and negotiating a better end.

"Unfortunately, this is entirely the gridlock that West Virginians have come to resent in Washington."

Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., said in a statement "it is time for the sweetheart deals for the politically privileged to end."

"Tonight the Senate tabled a House amendment that would have required Members of Congress, congressional staff and political appointees to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges without a special subsidy for coverage," McKinley said in a statement. "Either Obamacare is good for everyone or no one."