Visclosky Criticizing, Coats Advocating “Piecemeal” Budget
October 5, 2013 — Hoosier lawmakers in Congress have differing positions about the way to achieve a pending federal government budget.
Indiana’s 1st District U.S. Representative Pete Visclosky issued a strong scolding to the House of Representatives for tying a prospective budget to the nation’s healthcare law, defunding it by funding other selective parts of government operations, one appropriations bill at a time.
While the Democrat Visclosky criticized the “piecemeal” approach to a federal budget, Indiana’s senior U.S. Senator Dan Coats advocated that approach yesterday in a speech on the Senate floor.
A Republican, Coats is urging Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to allow votes on individual funding bills while the federal government remains shutdown. The federal government began operating on a backup spending plan of essential services and entitlement programs when Congress failed to adopt a budget for the federal government’s current fiscal year that started Tuesday, October 1, 2013.
Coats spoke Friday from the Senate floor to encourage lawmakers to pass a series of bills from the House of Representatives which would fund several veterans’ services as well as pay for the National Guard and Reserve, food and drug safety programs, Federal Emergency Management Agency workers and intelligence and counter-terrorism personnel.
Coats told the Senate, “We can come together and fund important programs and departments right now and not put them in jeopardy because of Washington’s impasse. A government shutdown is a pox on both our houses.”
Visclosky delivered a passionate speech Thursday in the House, where he chastised an anonymous colleague for bragging that constituents who needed Affordable Care Act provisions were unable to access related information Tuesday morning.