Utah congressmen speak to government shutdown

WASHINGTON, D.C.Utah’s congressional delegation unanimously voted to pass a resolution to keep funding the government, but only if implementation of the Affordable Care Act was postponed for another year.

The Republican-controlled House passed the spending resolution and sent it to the Democrat-controlled Senate which rejected it. Both sides refused to give an inch which has resulted in a government shutdown. While essential functions of government will stay open, nonessential ones will close.

In Washington County, one of the biggest immediate affects will be on Zion National Park. While the Town of Springdale will remain open for business, the majority Zion National Park will not. It, along with other national parks and monuments, will close down until Congress manages to pass new legislation the partisans can agree with.

Here are statements issued by some of the members of the Utah’s congressional delegation on Congress’s inability to pass new spending legislation thereby leading to the the shutdown.

Sen. Orrin Hatch:

This is a dark moment in our nation’s history, and Utahns have every right to be disappointed in their government.

The fact is that Senate Democrats failed to take common sense action to fund the government and change Obamacare to protect the American people. Republicans have listened to the American people who have been clear that they don’t think Obamacare is ready for prime-time, and the House passed two pieces of legislation to fund the government while delaying the tax penalty for individuals, repealing the law’s requirement that everyone purchase health insurance, and to repeal the $31 million medical device tax. The Obama Administration has delayed parts of the health law six times, and Congress has voted to change it seven more times because the law’s a disaster. Now, ObamaCare is going live and state after state is saying they don’t have confidence that people’s privacy will be protected or that folks won’t be defrauded.  So why is it that the President can delay parts of ObamaCare, but Congress can’t? To not give individuals and hard-working families a reprieve from this disastrous law – the same treatment that employers have already been given by this White House – is nonsensical. That Senate Democrats shut down the government over listening to the American people is shameful.

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah District 2

Like the American people, I want to keep the government open and operational. But President Obama and the democratic senate leadership have refused to talk with us.  The majority of the nation and Utahns want to repeal and defund Obamacare, one of the most destructive and expensive laws ever passed. This is an important and necessary fight. If Obamacare is implemented, it will come with a $1.3 trillion price tag, paid for by increased health premiums and taxes – Increased costs that hard working American families simply can’t afford. House Republicans have repeatedly come to the table to negotiate. I wish the President and Harry Reed would do the same.”

Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah District 4

Again today I voted to keep the government running. Included were two additional provisions: one that makes sure Members of Congress and staff aren’t given special treatment with regard to Obamacare, and two, to delay the bill’s individual mandate for one year. However my top priority is to keep the government operating. I am disappointed that the leadership of the House of Representatives lost sight of what should have been a straight up or down vote on a funding bill. Now more than ever, it is critically important that we work together in the name of getting things done.

Sen. Mike Lee and Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz also voted for the resolution to fund the government while also defunding the ACA and delaying the implementation of the individual mandate.

Ed. note: Sen. Hatch’s statement included in this report placing the medical device tax at $31 million appears to be an error, the medical device excise tax has been widely translated at about $31 billion, with a fair amount of bipartisan disfavor for the tax. While the analysis is beyond the scope of this report, linked here is the IRS webpage for frequently asked questions on the tax; it does not translate the tax to dollars, however.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.



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  • Maggie October 1, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Our guys did good! Well Hatch was a no show, but he says the right things in this article. Even Jim Matheson represented us..

    • My Evil Twin October 1, 2013 at 10:53 am

      No Maggie, “OUR GUYS” did NOT “DID GOOD.” The whole … bunch of them in Washington are a bunch of self centered, spoiled rotten, two year olds that need to have their pants taken down and their bare bottoms whipped until they bleed. Then they need to be removed from office. ALL of them, no matter what their party “label” is.
      These jerks have been screwing the country and the tax payers for years, and we apparently are too damn stupid to get rid of them.
      Ed. ellipses.

    • Tracie October 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Speak for yourself. They certainly didn’t represent me.

  • Alice October 1, 2013 at 11:01 am

    How stupid these elected officials are. They are acting like terrorists holding the spending bill hostage for one item. They do not represent us or our best interests. Why couldn’t they just split the bill in two. One bill to vote on keeping the government running, the other bill to overturn the Healthcare Act. The country could stay up and running while they squabble like a bunch of 4 year olds. They hype how bad the healthcare bill is, but it hasn’t even be in place to see what the fall out is. It is all, guessing, fear mongering and smoke and mirrors at this point in time. Besides, why didn’t they do their homework on the healthcare bill before it was passed? Most probably never read a word of it before they voted. Most probably can’t read. There are very few in Congress who have ours or the country’s best interest at heart. If they are not coming up with a solution, then they are the PROBLEM!!!!

    • Richard October 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      I always wonder how victims of real terrorist feel when people call Mike Lee a terrorist. It reminds me of people pulling out Hitler for everyone they disagree with. It seems immature and as if you cannot argue a valid point.

  • Hunter October 1, 2013 at 11:09 am

    So, what you really mean, Orrin, is that Utahns have every right to be disappointed in those “pesky liberals.” What a tool, acting as if he’s not part of the problem here. Typical.

  • Tom October 1, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Blah, Blah, Blah and they will keep on collecting their big fat paychecks, while hundreds of thousands of federal employees are sent home and millions who depend on their services, will now have to do without. All of these Latter Day Republican tea… should be sent packing in the next election.
    Ed. ellipsis

  • George W October 3, 2013 at 7:09 am


    Sen Hatch’s office made a mistake on the Oct 01 2013 press release “Hatch Statement on Government Shutdown”

    In the statement “repealing the law’s requirement that everyone purchase health insurance, and to repeal the $31 million medical device tax.” the $31 should be BILLION, not MILLION.

    • Avatar photo Joyce Kuzmanic October 4, 2013 at 10:16 am

      I am adding an editorial note for clarification, George W – just a reminder that we do not edit anything in quoted material.
      Our request for clarification of the senator’s intentions, addressed to the senator’s press office, has not been answered as of Oct. 4.
      The IRS webpage for FAQ on the medical device excise tax is here (it does not translate the tax to dollars, however there is considerable reporting reflecting figures in the billions of dollars and a fair amount of bipartisan disfavor for the tax – an analysis beyond the scope of this St. George News report): http://www.irs.gov/uac/Medical-Device-Excise-Tax:-Frequently-Asked-Questions
      ST. GEORGE NEWS | STGnews.com
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

      • George W October 5, 2013 at 8:03 am


        Thanks, I completely understand your comment. I tried to word my comment that it was a Sen. Hatch office error, and thought it important for your readers to know that the Hatch Press release was incorrect; by a factor of a thousand. Interestingly I saw, as you, that same incorrect number on many news outlets. I just wanted St. George News to continue to be the best source readers can learn the most accurate and current news.

        Just before my comment on St. George News, I reported the same error to Sen. Hatch’s office through their web page http://www.hatch.senate.gov/public/ . I have not gotten a response from them either. And as you did, got the factual number from the IRS.GOV.

  • Lisa October 3, 2013 at 8:55 am

    They said they wanted to shutdown the government before they were elected and repeatedly since. So, they’ve achieved that. They say they want the Dems to “talk”. Talk about what? The only thing that will satisfy the radical Reps is doing away with ACA/Obamacare. They don’t want to “talk”. They want it “their way or the highway” as the saying goes. They didn’t want to talk about healthcare reform when the opportunity was presented to them. The president has delayed part of ACA to accommodate them. Now they want more, and they’ll continue to want more. Folks in the Tea Party camp like to reference our nation’s forefathers in their rhetoric but even the forefathers were willing to compromise. No, these folks are like spoiled children.

    • DoubleTap October 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      If the ACA is so great…why is it that Congress and their staff, Obama and his, family, and Obama’s business cronies are all exempt from it? What makes them so special that they don’t have to participate
      in it?
      And before all you Obama-lovers start shouting that “it’s the law. congress passed it and the SCOTUS affirmed it”, then how does Obama get to violate the “law” and pick and choose what parts of it he want to
      do away with what parts to keep? He cannot do that by himself. He broke the law be doing so. What makes him above the law?
      The ACA (ObamaCare) is NOT about healthcare for the people….it IS about control of the people. I’m not so sure I am ready to give up my freedoms and rights to some unelected government paper-pusher.

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