Updated Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 4: 54 p.m.
By Ann Marie Mesquita, Staff Writer
HARTFORD — More than 7,000 Connecticut workers will not be paid because of a government shut down early Tuesday morning.
The partial government shut down at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 1 comes as lawmakers on Capitol Hill reached an impasse over the Affordable Care Act, scheduled to launch today.
Connecticut Congressional delegation said this move by House Republicans was “a cavalier willingness to shut down the government for pure political posturing.”
In a video released by the White House early Tuesday, President Barack Obama said: “Congress has not fulfilled its responsibility. It has failed to pass a budget and, as a result, much of our government must now shut down until Congress funds it again.”
This is the first partial government shutdown in 17 years. And historically, marginalized communities are likely to the feel the brunt of damage caused by a shutdown.
Although federal workers will not be paid as a result of this halt to federal operations, essential employees will still work, and about 2,000 Armed Service workers will get paid.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today released the following statement, calling on House Republicans to stop thier obstruction and pass a resolution that funds the government and increases the debt ceiling.
“This morning, House Republicans failed to meet a most basic responsibility of a member of Congress: to fund the government operations and programs that they themselves have authorized. Consequently, the federal government has shut down and the American people are suffering the consequences. So, now, citizens of Connecticut who work for the federal government will not be paid, federal contractors will be laid off, new loans to Connecticut small businesses won’t be made, and the list goes on and on. As much as we can, the state will work to mitigate the disruption caused by this wanton act of ideological excess,” Malloy said.
Malloy joined other governors and sent a bipartisan letter to Congressional leaders, saying that House Republicans “would be wise heed our call made on behalf of all Americans.”
Some Republicans say Obamacare will bankrupt the country. Opponents of Obamacare said the healthcare law would result in “more Americans under the control of Wall Street.”
Because of the lapse in federal government appropriations, most federal services such as IRS and Social Security Administration will be closed. And only a “skeletal staff” will be at the White House on Tuesday. White House and Congressional aides will be on furlough.
Congressman John B. Larson released the following statement after House Republicans on Monday voted to send a Continuing Resolution that threatens healthcare for millions of Americans to the U.S. Senate with less than four hours left to avoid a federal government shut down:
“I am disappointed tonight that House Republican leadership continues to play hostage politics with our economy and move towards a government shutdown. It is truly a shame that our economic certainty has taken a back seat to ideology.”
The Small Business Administration announced it will be closed until further notices. All upcoming events, webinars and meetings have been cancelled. And during this time, the District Office will not be able to respond to requests.
Connecticut officials will, however, proceed with the launch of Affordable Care Act, known also as Obamacare. The government-run health exchange will allow the state’s 35,000 uninsured residents, most of whom are people of color, to begin enrollment—if they so desire. Coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2014.
Obamacare was signed into law on March 23, 2010. The shut down was a Republican tactic used to force President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate to delay or defund parts of the law. Tea Party Republicans voted 44 times to repeal the law.
However, these moves did not stop the process, which will unfold today in an effort to make insurance available for most uninsured people in America. The digital ribbon cutting for the insurance marketplace today allows Americans to shop for insurance online.