John Boehner, USA TODAY Opinion
The president isn't telling the whole story when it comes to the government shutdown. The fact is that Washington Democrats have slammed the door on reopening the government by refusing to engage in bipartisan talks. And, as stories across the country highlight the devastating impact of Obamacare on families and small businesses, they continue to reject our calls for fairness for all Americans.
This is part of a larger pattern: the president's scorched-Earth policy of refusing to negotiate in bipartisan way on his health care law, current government funding, or the debt limit.
As of this morning, Senate Democrats, acting in concert with President Obama, have rejected four different proposals from the House of Representatives to keep the government running and fund basic services.
On Friday, September 20, 2013, the House of Representatives passed legislation to keep the government running - funding Medicare, Social Security, veterans benefits, and more - while removing funding for the president's health care law, which is driving up costs and hurting our economy.
The Democratic-controlled Senate rejected this measure.
On Saturday, September 28, 2013, the House passed another measure to keep the government running, delay the president's health care law for one year, and permanently repeal Obamacare's tax on pacemakers and children's hearing aids.
Senate Democrats rejected the measure on a party-line vote.
(The House also passed the Pay Our Military Act, which ensures our troops are paid during a government shutdown. Thankfully, that measure was adopted by the Senate and signed by President Obama.)
On Monday, September 30, 2013, the House passed yet another measure to keep the government running and ensure fairness for all Americans under the president's health care law. President Obama delayed the law's mandates on big businesses and insurance companies; this bill would delay the law for everyone.
The Senate rejected this measure too.
The House then passed another bill late on Monday requesting a formal conference committee with the Senate to come to an agreement on legislation that provides funding for the federal government and delays the president's health care law for all Americans. That is the system the Founding Fathers gave us to resolve differences between the House and Senate.
The Senate then opposed that measure as well, so Senate Democrats and President Obama got their government shutdown.
In the meantime, in just a few weeks, Congress must act to raise the debt limit to pay the tab for President Obama and Washington's out-of-control spending. There is no way Congress can or should pass such a bill without spending cuts and reforms to deal with the debt and deficit and help get our economy moving again. But President Obama refuses to even talk about negotiating such a bipartisan agreement.
For years, the president has said that in a divided government, no one gets 100% of what they want. But when will his words match his actions?
As for House Republicans, we will continue our efforts to keep the government running and deal honestly with the problems we face. We hope that Senate Democrats - and President Obama - change course and start working with us on behalf of the American people.