Congressman William Enyart

Representing the 12th District of Illinois
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Congressman Enyart Remarks on Government Shut-Down

Oct 1, 2013
Press Release

Congressman Bill Enyart (D-IL) today issued the following statement regarding the federal government shut-down:

“In my short time in Washington, I have never been as frustrated as I am today.  Common sense is out the window and the American people expect more from those sent here to represent them.
“As a former General and proud veteran, I know that Congress has let down our troops, our veterans, federal workers, and the American people by forcing a government shut-down. Unfortunately, a small group of irresponsible politicians are now holding the entire nation hostage with an ever-changing list of political demands they know they can’t achieve.  
“The dysfunction in Washington has a real-world impact on people in Southern Illinois and across the nation, especially the furloughed workers and veterans who will feel the brunt of Washington’s inaction and inability to govern. The backlog of veterans’ benefit claims will not get better under a government shutdown; it will get worse.  In the last government shutdown, veterans’ education checks through the GI Bill were delayed. And veterans calling VA offices across the country found no one on the other end of the line to answer their questions or help with their problems.  

“For all my frustration, I am grateful that there was a unanimous vote to pay our troops during the shut-down and that the President has signed this bill into law.  I am also donating my pay for the duration of this senseless shut-down to a food bank in Southern Illinois and call upon my colleagues in Congress to do the same.  In the meantime, my offices will remain open to help our constituents in Southern Illinois who are dealing with added hardships due to the federal government closure.

“Now is the time put love of country ahead of ideology.  Now is the time to put our troops and our veterans ahead of politics.  Now is the time to put public service ahead of partisan games. I stand ready to work with responsible Republicans and Democrats to ensure this stand-off ends as quickly as possible.”