By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
New York City’s only Republican in congress said he reached across the aisle to work with Democrats to help resolve the three-week-long impasse in Washington and get the federal government reopened.
U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-C-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Staten Island) was a member of a House bipartisan working group that worked on a deal to get the government up and running again and avoid defaulting on our nation's debt.
The House and Senate voted on Oct. 16 to accept a deal to reopen the government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling so that the country could avoid defaulting on its debts. Politico reported that House Speaker John Boehner reached across the aisle and got the bill passed with votes from Democrats. The House approved the bill by 285-144. The Senate margin was 81-18 to approve the legislation.
The debt ceiling deadline was set for midnight on Oct. 17.
Grimm and the other members of the bipartisan group released a statement after the votes took place. The government was shut down for three weeks.
“On day one of the government shutdown, we joined together not as Democrats, not as Republicans, but as Americans deeply committed to resolving this impasse and avoiding a self-inflicted economic wound that would devastate families across the country,” the statement read.
“As it became clear that partisanship – and not problem solving – would dominate the discussion in Washington, we were joined by pragmatic, like-minded leaders on both sides of the aisle. In informal talks, we were able to put our differences aside and develop a potential solution. We look forward to continuing our bipartisan discussions with the goal of putting forth a long-term deficit reduction agreement to get our fiscal house in order and finding other areas of cooperation,” the statement read.
The shutdown began on Oct. 1 after Tea Party members of the House vowed to vote against budget bills unless President Obama agreed to postpone implementation of the Affordable Care Act, something the president refused to do.
The shutdown closed national parks and monuments, furloughed non-essential government employees and brought a halt to bereavement payments to families of military members killed on active duty.