With the possibility of a government shutdown looming, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed is taking steps to ensure veterans and seniors are secured from the impact.
Recently, the Republican from Corning introduced a bill into the House of Representatives entitled the "Pay Our Veterans and Seniors First Act." The act calls for veterans and seniors to be paid, while forfeiting pay for Congress and the president in the event of a government shutdown.
Reed recently told attendees at a town hall meeting in Ellery that if Republicans and Democrats failed to come to terms on a continuing resolution by the end of this month, a government shutdown may occur. Additionally, he said at the meeting there is data indicating the national debt ceiling could potentially be breached by mid-October.
"We have a debt problem, we're $17 trillion in the hole and we're going in more and more every year. We have to get this thing going in the right trajectory," Reed said. "To me, the path and the vision needs to be clear. We've got to get our spending under control, and we've got to grow this economy so we can get people back to work. So then, not only are they not on the system, they're contributing to the system. And, to me, that makes sense. So, those are the types of reforms we're looking for."
Just last week, Reed voted for a resolution that would continue funding for several government programs. However, the bill also calls to eliminate funding for the Affordable Care Act. The bill passed the House and is now being considered by the U.S. Senate.
"Our bill rightly puts our servicemen and women and seniors above Congress and the president, should a shutdown occur," Reed said. "Obviously, our hope is that the Senate acts and a shutdown is avoided. But, we need to be prepared and have protection in place for our military and seniors. Inaction is not fair for our veterans and seniors. That's why we are making it very clear they are our priority and we have their backs."
The Senate has until Monday to pass a continuing resolution and avoid a government shutdown.
"Americans deserve the freedom and flexibility to choose an affordable health care plan that best cares for their family," Reed said. "Our bill gives families that opportunity, and eliminates the threat of a government shutdown."