WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 – The Senate today rejected a House maneuver to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act and let employers deny health care for women as a condition for keeping the government open in a new fiscal year that begins on Tuesday.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined the 54–46 majority that sent the budget resolution back to the House in time for it to complete action on the bill before a partial government shutdown begins tonight at midnight.
“People may disagree about the Affordable Care Act, but it is wrong for right-wing Republicans to ignore the results of the last election and hold the American people hostage by threatening to shut down the government unless they get their way,” Sanders said.
“This sets a terrible precedent,” he added. "Today it’s the Affordable Care Act, tomorrow Social Security and the next day it’s ending Medicare as we know it. No Congress, today or in the future, should be held hostage by a small minority undermining the democratic and legislative processes,” Sanders said.
“We should not be threatening to withhold pay for members of the military, the FBI or cancer researchers. We should not be shutting down Head Start centers, denying food to fragile seniors or delaying applications for Social Security and veterans’ benefits,” Sanders added.
“What happens now depends on whether House Speaker John Boehner surrenders to his right-wing extremists or whether he’s prepared to work with Democrats and moderate Republicans to continue funding the government.”