Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire
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Kuster to Leadership: Bring New Members to Table to Help Avert Shutdown

Sep 24, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With a week remaining until a potential government shutdown, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) is calling on the Congressional leadership of both parties to bring members of the freshman class to the negotiating table to help reach a reasonable solution to keep the government running.  In a letter to Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Kuster stressed the freshman class’s shared commitment to moving beyond partisan gimmicks and working together to reach a responsible agreement.

“If Congress does not take decisive action in the next ten days, the federal government will be forced to shut down, creating uncertainty throughout the economy, curtailing job creation, and reducing economic opportunity for middle class families,” Kuster wrote. “New Hampshire families don’t expect Congress to agree on everything—nor should they. We have real and important differences. But they do expect us to find common ground where we can.  Both Republicans and Democrats in the freshman class were sent to Congress by voters frustrated by partisan gridlock and dysfunction.  We stand ready to work with you to find solutions to our nation’s fiscal challenges and put our country on a sustainable fiscal trajectory.”

In March, Kuster sent a similar letter to House leadership that was signed by a group of twenty freshman Representatives from both parties. Last week, she warned against playing political games around a government shutdown, saying that “the last thing our economy can afford right now is another self-inflicted wound from Washington.”

The full text of the letter is below:

September 20, 2013

Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, Leader Pelosi, and Whip Hoyer: 

Six months ago, I led a bipartisan coalition of twenty newly-elected Representatives in requesting that you meet with the freshman class to discuss our shared vision for the federal budget.  Today, less than two weeks away from a potential government shutdown, I write to reiterate that request. 

Half a year has passed since my colleagues and I urged you to meet with us to find common ground.  That request went unanswered and today our nation stands no closer to passing a responsible budget that will help grow our economy, create jobs, and strengthen the middle class.  If Congress does not take decisive action in the next ten days, the federal government will be forced to shut down, creating uncertainty throughout the economy, curtailing job creation, and reducing economic opportunity for middle class families. 

Now more than ever, Republicans and Democrats must focus on reaching a responsible compromise that will keep our government running, cut spending, and protect middle class priorities.  Not only have both parties so far failed to come to that type of agreement—they have failed to even come to the negotiating table.  Our constituents rightly expect and deserve better.

New Hampshire families don’t expect Congress to agree on everything—nor should they. We have real and important differences. But they do expect us to find common ground where we can.  Both Republicans and Democrats in the freshman class were sent to Congress by voters frustrated by partisan gridlock and dysfunction.  We stand ready to work with you to find solutions to our nation’s fiscal challenges and put our country on a sustainable fiscal trajectory.

It is long past time for Congress to come to the table and negotiate a responsible compromise to address our fiscal challenges.  Again, I request that you engage the freshman class and give us the opportunity to help avoid a costly government shutdown.  Thank you for your consideration.

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