Congressman Jim Gerlach (R-PA6) says his constituents don’t want the federal government shut down and he will vote to end the shutdown if a bill that would do that comes to the floor of the U.S. House.
Gerlach is one of three Pensylvania Congressman, including moderate second terms Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA7) (who represented part of TE until a redistricting last year) and Congressman Charlie Dent (R-PA15).
In explaining his position Wednesday, Gerlach's press office issued the following statement:
"The constituents I have heard from don't want the federal government shut down and they don't want the glitch-filled, job-crushing health care law known as ObamaCare. But at this moment, middle-class families, employers and communities of all sizes are coping with the devastating effects of both. It is time for Congress to vote on a budget bill that gets the government back to work providing all of the services already paid for by the hard-working taxpayers in my District and across the country. If a bill comes to the floor to accomplish that goal, I will vote for it.
Re-opening the federal government absolutely does not mean shutting down efforts to repeal and replace a health care law that’s driving premiums higher for too many families, cutting hours for too many workers and giving the federal government unprecedented control over medical choices for too many patients. I have joined my colleagues in the House six times during the last two weeks to pass bills that keep the federal government open while defunding or delaying ObamaCare. Each attempt to eliminate funding for the law, repeal the $30 billion medical device tax driving jobs overseas or treat all Americans equally by giving them the same one-year reprieve from the law's mandates that the President gave big businesses has been rejected by the President and Senate Democrat leaders. The President and Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid seem perfectly content keeping the "Closed" sign on the Liberty Bell, Valley Forge National Park and Gettysburg National Battlefield. I am not, and I look forward to voting to put government back to work serving the taxpayers very soon."
According to Gerlach, 52 percent of constituents who contacted his office support continued funding of government operations, including Obamacare; 39 percent support shutting down government “if the continuing resolution does not defund or delay Obamacare.”
Since Tuesday, Gerlach said, 89 percent of constituents who contacted the office registered a strong opposition to the federal shutdown; 10 percent of messages were in favor of the shutdown.
Three area Congressmen are the only Republicans from Pennsylvania to break with their party and call for legislation to keep the federal government funded without provisions to scale back the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Representative Charlie Dent (R-15) was the first Pennsylvania Congressman to break from the House GOP by voting against the Republican budget bills.
Here's how to contact Congressman Jim Gerlach's office to let your voice be heard on this issue:
By Phone: (202) 225-4315
By email: Click on this link
You can find more information on calling Gerlach's District offices here on his website.