Friday, October 4, 2013

Posey Responds

Day #4 furloughed from my job thanks to Congress.

Two days ago, I used Rep. Bill Posey's web site to submit a complaint about his participation in the government shutdown. The message was similar to the text I posted here the same day.

This morning, Florida Today printed my letter that I submitted.

This afternoon, I received a form email from Rep. Posey's office. It did not address my complaint that his actions resulted in my losing income because I'd been furloughed from Kennedy Space Center, nor did it address my complaint that he was trying to deny me access to affordable health care.

Mr. Posey's form response is below for your review. By the way, his claim that Congress is exempted from the Affordable Care Act is a myth, as documented by this Yahoo! Finance article.

He also misleads you with this statement posted September 30 on his web site:

“If there is a government shutdown and federal employees are furloughed, I will continue to work for you in Congress. However, I will also forgo my pay for the duration of the shutdown.”

What Mr. Posey didn't tell you is that his next payday isn't until October 31, by which time the shutdown should be over. He got paid on September 30, the day before the shutdown began.

And with that ... Mr. Posey's response.

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for legislation that would continue to fund the federal government. I am supportive of such legislation and hope that we can soon reach an agreement with the Senate and the President.

Since September 20, 2013, the House has sent to the Senate three different bills to keep the government funded. Each time the Senate voted down the bill. As the House waits for the Senate to appoint conferees, or otherwise work with the House for a resolution of the shutdown, the House has proceeded to pass bills to keep specific agencies open.

The House approved a bill to pay the troops. Fortunately the Senate passed this bill, and it was signed into law. We have passed other bills with bipartisan support, including funding for: the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Park Service, the District of Columbia, the National Institutes of Health, and paying the National Guard and Reservists. I voted for each of them when they passed the House. Instead of passing these bills, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has chosen to prevent Senate passage of each of these bills. This is both unnecessary and unfortunate. I expect the House to consider additional funding bills in the days ahead, and I hope the Senate will ultimately pass them on to the President to be signed into law.

As I mentioned, the House has sent to Senate three bills to fund the government. On September 20, 2013, the House approved legislation to fund the federal government through December 15, 2013. This legislation was sent to the Senate for their consideration, and on September 23, the Senate began considering the funding bill. They amended the bill and sent it back to the House on September 27th with amendments, including a provision to cut funding off on November 15, 2013. On September 28th the House amended the bill and sent it back to the Senate with changes. The Senate met on September 30th and rejected the bill. A third House bill was voted down by the Senate late on Monday (September 30th).

The third House-passed bill, which we have asked to conference with the Senate, keeps the government open through December 15, 2013. It would also eliminate subsidies for and require the Congress and their staff as well as White House employees to sign up for health care through the Obamacare health exchanges. Finally, it would provide to individuals the same one-year waiver that the Administration unilaterally provided to large corporations. If large corporations are getting a pass on the bills mandates, shouldn't individuals?

I will keep your concerns in mind and am hopeful that these issues can be resolved in a timely manner. I would also add that I believe it is important that the House and Senate get back to regular order in considering the annual appropriations bills. While the House has passed several of these bills, the Senate has not passed an appropriations bill since 2011. That failure is one of the reasons that these important issues are crammed in at the end of the federal fiscal year (Sept 30th).

Thank you again, Stephen, for contacting me. It is an honor to serve you in the Congress. If I may be of service to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Bill Posey
Member of Congress

1 comment:

  1. That article you quoted that said Congress is not exempt from "Obamacare" actually explains the biggest problem with the law: it should more accurately be called the "Unaffordable Care Act".
    From the article:

    With members of Congress and their staffs being forced to buy insurance on the exchanges beginning in 2014, the real question regarding Congress is how the government can continue to offer some sort of health care benefit for those federal employees, the way most big employers do, since it can no longer cover a portion of the premium. Few, if any, Congressional staffers would qualify for the low-income subsidies. That means their net insurance costs would rise considerably if they were forced to buy from an exchange with no support at all from their employer. The basic idea is to make Congressional employees whole by giving them a new benefit that’s more or less equal to what they’ll be losing when they can no longer participate in the government’s health care offerings.

    In short Congress and their staff will be getting a subsidy that no one else at their pay scale would be getting. The subsidies were meant to only apply to low income people.
    Another important fact underlying this article is clear, for many if not most people in the middle class who don't qualify for subsidies their health care costs will go up.
    It's like "1984", calling it the "Affordable Care Act" is the exact opposite of what it is. Think about it. If not even Congress and their staffs can afford it what does that tell you?

    Bob Clark