Barr Votes to Shut Down Obamacare, not the Government

Legislation would fund government operations, defund Obamacare, and ensure U.S. government pays obligations during debt ceiling negotiations

September 20, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Congressman Andy Barr released the following statement today after voting for H.J.Res. 59, the Fiscal Year 2014 Continuing Appropriations Resolution, which passed the House by a vote of 230-189:

“Today, I voted to fund government operations beyond September 30, which is the end of the fiscal year.  This legislation included important provisions to control spending, defund Obamacare, and prevent a government shutdown.  The only way the government would shut down under this scenario would be if President Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and their liberal allies continue with their my-way-or-the-highway approach of conditioning funding the rest of the government on rushing the implementation of an unpopular law that will increase health care costs, destroy jobs and drive long-term deficits.

“My top priorities in Congress have always been getting Kentuckians back to work and averting a national debt crisis. Unfortunately, the President's signature policy achievement, Obamacare, stands firmly in the way of both of these goals, showing signs of inevitable failure, growing less popular with each passing day and weakening both the labor market and the country’s fiscal condition.  Millions of Americans are losing their job-based health insurance, individual and small group health insurance premiums are skyrocketing and employers are being forced to reduce hours for workers and even lay off employees.  The law is projected to cost taxpayers $48 billion in 2014 and nearly $2 trillion over the next decade. Even President Barack Obama's own administration has admitted that the law is unworkable by choosing to delay some of its key features.


“Since President Obama took office, our national debt has soared to nearly $17 trillion. Rather than threatening to shut down our government by insisting on rushing implementation of Obamacare, President Obama, Harry Reid and their allies should work with House Republicans to make reasonable spending cuts and enact real health care reform that will actually lower the cost of health care without growing the deficit.   In the coming days I look forward to continuing to work with the President and other Members of Congress on a solution that will prevent a government shutdown but also limit Obamacare's harmful impact on families, jobs and Kentuckians' ability to receive affordable quality health care services.”

Specifically, H.J. Res. 59:

  • Funds the Government through December 15th:  This gives appropriators the opportunity to complete their work on the FY2014 bills without shutting down the government.
  • Funds the Government at current levels ($986.3 billion): This represents a straight extension of current spending levels.
  • Full Faith and Credit: Adds H.R. 807, the Full Faith and Credit Act, to the CR, requiring Treasury to make good on public debt payments should America reach the debt ceiling. This ensures that beneficiaries will receive their Social Security and disability payments.
  • Fully Defunds Obamacare: Prohibits discretionary and mandatory spending on implementation of Obamacare and rescinds all unobligated balances.

“Kentuckians want three things right now,” said Barr.  “They want protection from the harmful impact of Obamacare; a government that stays open; and economic growth.  The House of Representatives is leading the fight to control spending, stop Obamacare, and protect hardworking Americans, and I hope the Obama Administration and the Senate will join us.”