Dems hit GOP on vote; Republicans defend position

Dems hit GOP on vote; Republicans defend position

WASHINGTON — Democrats hit congressional Republicans Friday, including Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, for votes to "defund" the Affordable Care Act and to cut about $40 billion over the next 10 years from federal food assistance programs.

But Davis and Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, defended their votes to eliminate funding for Obamacare.

"Our vote today was a vote to fund the federal government through Dec. 15 and defund the train wreck that is the Affordable Care Act," Davis said. "Our Senate colleagues have repeatedly asked for the opportunity to defund the health care law and now we are giving them that chance. I look forward to returning to Washington next week to see what action the Senate will take so that we can continue to work to ensure that the federal government remains funded."

Shimkus, whose district includes parts of northern and eastern Champaign County, as well as Vermilion, Douglas, Edgar and Coles counties, said his "constituents have been very vocal in expressing their displeasure with our spending habits in Washington. They are equally vocal about defunding Obamacare."

George Gollin, the University of Illinois physics professor who is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for Davis' seat, decried the freshman congressman's votes.

"These votes to deprive hungry people of food and sick people of health care are exactly why Rodney Davis must be defeated next November," he said. "I volunteer at a soup kitchen every week where I see people already getting food stamps who still can't feed their families."

Ann Callis, the former Madison County judge who also is seeking the 13th District Democratic nomination, said Republicans are running the risk of a government shutdown because the Democratic-dominated Senate is not expected to go along with the Obamacare defunding, which is contained in the congressional resolution.

"By threatening to shut down the entire government in order to win a political fight, Republicans have put the livelihood of millions of Americans in doubt to prove a political point," Callis said is a written statement.

Shimkus noted, however, that the continuing resolution passed by the House on Friday would fund the government into December.

"This short-term spending plan gives Congress and the president time to work out the appropriations for the full fiscal year," he said. "I would hope that between the (continuing resolution) and the upcoming debt-ceiling debate, we can reach long-term agreements."

Sen. Dick Durbin, meanwhile, called on House Republicans to soften their stance on the cuts to the food stamps program.

"And let me say this about food stamps: This idea that we're going to cut almost $40 billion out of the food stamp program over the next 10 years means that we're going to be denying basic food to children, to mothers with small children, to the elderly, and to the disabled. We're a better nation than that," Durbin said. "Because of this recession, a lot of families, even some working families need a helping hand. I hope we can find other ways to solve our deficit issues and still keep our word that we're a caring nation and want to help those families in need."

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kiel wrote on September 21, 2013 at 6:09 am

Fact: The vote was one that will end free school lunches for 240,000 poor children and block 170,000 veterans from receiving SNAP food assistance. Because, you know, screw the kids and "former" American heroes.

Fact: The vote has nothing to do with the ACA. That program is already paid for by premiums and earlier budgeting measures from previous years. Shutting down the government would not shut down administration of the ACA. 

Analysis: The GOP is acting like a bunch of children, stopming their feet and holding their breath until they get their way. It's truly pathetic.

bluegrass wrote on September 21, 2013 at 9:09 am

Fact is, you need to get your facts straight.   If what your saying about obamacare and funding is true, why wouldn't the dems vote fot it?

If the economy is improving, as many claim, shouldn't there be less of a need for food stamps?    Or maybe the economy isnt improving.  Which one is it?  Seeing as how the program has increased so rapidly over the past few years, will there ever be an appropriate time to shrink it down to previous levels?    Should people be able to buy doughnuts and cookies and pop and Red Bull for their kids for breakfast at the local gas station, and pay food stamps?  Is there any cut to any non-defense government program that a democrat would not characterize as a Republican War on (fill in the blank.). Fact: no there is not.