Thank you to the hundreds of people who have called and emailed my Oklahoma and Washington, DC offices this week to express their views on how to fund the federal government. While the House and Senate are clearly at an impasse on how to proceed, it is clear there are things Americans can agree upon.
There is bipartisan agreement in the House on things we can fund while we work on our differences with the President’s healthcare law. As of Thursday evening, the House has passed five “clean” spending bills in the past twenty-four hours to fund: the Department of Veterans Affairs and their important services, our national parks and monuments, the National Institutes of Health, the District of Columbia and the training programs for our Naitonal Gaurdsmen and women. Our veterans, like our active-duty military, deserve to have access to the services we promised them, regardless of conversations taking place in Washington. The Senate needs to act on these bills to get these services up and running.
On Friday, the House will take up eleven other funding bills to continue to re-open as much of the federal government as possible to minimize any further economic hardship.
As we work through these smaller bills, I continue to push Secretary Hagel and the Department of Defense to implement the “Pay Our Military Act” within the definition of the law. Last week, the House and Senate unanimously agreed on a funding bill for our military and DOD civilians, the “Pay Our Military Act,” which the President signed into law on Monday night. Our military personnel and their civilian counterparts should be back at their duty station now with full pay. There is absolutely no reason the Administration should hold up pay for ANY of our military personnel or ANY of our hardworking DOD civilians. The two-page bill directly reflects our commitment to those who serve our nation in the armed services. Defense Secretary Hagel’s choice to delay action on the law and interpret it in a narrow way when the law was written in the broadest possible terms is incredibly frustrating.
I will continue to work with my colleagues to protect Oklahomans from the harmful consequences of the Affordable Care Act while we also restore funding for our federal employees and the important services that Americans depend on. Please continue to pray for our nation and its leaders. I will do my best to keep you up to date on any new developments in the days ahead.
Editor’s Addition: The following is a video (October 2) of Rep. Lankford discussing Obamacare.