ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Local lawmakers are responding to the re-opening of the federal government.
From Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO):
"After two weeks of a senseless Republican government shutdown that deprived the American people of vital services, inflicted real hardship on 800,000 federal employees, and according to Standard & Poor's, resulted in a net loss of $24 billion to the U.S. economy...extortion has failed.
"The House Republican leadership ought to be ashamed of what they allowed to happen. The GOP Tea Party has accomplished nothing, they have cost the taxpayers billions, and they have weakened this country.
"Extortion is not an acceptable form of government in a great nation. The American people deserve better."
From Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.):
"From the very beginning of this debate I've stated that while I remain opposed to Obamacare, a government shutdown is absolutely unacceptable. Since then, I've voted for multiple bipartisan bills to reopen parts of the federal government while hoping that cooler heads would prevail and Republicans and Democrats would come together and negotiate in good faith. Today is no reason to celebrate, because Congress finally did what we were sent to Washington to do - govern.
"That is why I voted in support of the bipartisan agreement to reopen the government and remove the threat of default, which could have had disastrous effects on an already-fragile economy.
"Additionally, this bill will tighten the requirements for verifying the income of people receiving insurance subsidies under Obamacare, saving taxpayers money by reducing fraud and abuse.
"I also supported this agreement because it begins a process that I've been calling for all along - a constitutional appropriations process. By forming a budget conference committee, we can begin discussions with the Senate to find a long-term solution to our nation's fiscal crisis and finally begin to pay down our national debt. However, now that we have this opportunity, we must see results. Failing to come to a budget agreement would be irresponsible, so I expect both sides to be willing to negotiate and come up with a commonsense solution for the hardworking taxpayers of this country."
From Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo-3):
"After weeks of discussions and trying to reach a conclusion to get the government up and running, the bill that was on the House floor today did nothing to address the nation's out-of-control spending. I came to Washington with a promise that I would rein in spending and after hearing from my constituents who want the same, I could not vote for legislation that does not begin to tackle the debt. We need to have serious discussions regarding entitlement reform and structural changes to the budget so we can begin to make significant headway on the debt. Americans want Congress to address the drivers of our debt and spending. Simply increasing the nation's debt limit with no discussion of entitlement reform or serious spending cuts is not the answer."
From Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill-15):
"In addition to the problems with Obamacare, I am deeply concerned about our nation's long-term fiscal situation," Shimkus noted. "I am very hopeful that the budget conference committee, which is part of the overall agreement, will be successful in addressing the mandatory spending issues we face.
"And as Senator McConnell said in his remarks...the spending restraints negotiated in the Budget Control Act remain in place, and we will have two years of reduced government spending for the first time since the Korean War."