Senate Democrats

Reid: GOP Has A Choice – Keep Last Night’s Agreement To Cut Budget, Or Shut Down Government Over Women’s Health

‘If That Sounds Ridiculous, That’s Because It Is’

Washington, D.C. — Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following statement today regarding budget negotiations. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Republicans in the House have a very clear choice to make – and not much time to make it.

“They can keep their word on our agreement to significantly cut the budget and the deficit – or they can shut down America’s government over women’s access to cancer tests.

“If that sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is.

“The federal budget is complex.  This choice should be simple.  A lot of the cuts in our proposal were tough choices.  This choice should be easy.

“We use the word ‘riders’ around here.  Let’s remember what’s really riding on Republicans’ choice:

“If the government shuts down over women’s access to cancer screenings, our fragile economy will reverse its momentum.  In five weeks, our GDP could lose a whole percentage point.

“Our intelligence and diplomatic activities around the world would be damaged – and our image and credibility would be severely hurt.

“Families won’t be able to get home loans.  Small businesses won’t be able to get the loans they need.  Taxpayers won’t get their tax refunds.

“A federal government shutdown doesn’t mean they lock the doors to the Capitol building in Washington.  It has real consequences for everyday Americans all over the country.

“All this to stop women from getting the regular tests and preventative services that could save their lives?  What a terribly sad statement.

“If Speaker Boehner can’t sell that to his fellow Republicans in the next few hours, it will be crystal clear to the American people that Democrats were reasonable and Republicans were responsible for the shutdown.

“The issue here is funding for local health clinics that provide services like cancers tests that save women’s lives and save money down the road by catching diseases that are expensive to treat.

“The fact that Republicans have made this about women’s health – and not about money, or anything controversial – is a shame.”