By: Marieke van Rijn, Communications & Advocacy Intern
After over 40 attempts at repealing “Obamacare” and a 21-hour long filibuster from Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the federal government shut down ten minutes before midnight on September 30. The shutdown is a result of House Republicans refusing to pass a federal spending budget before the fiscal year ended unless key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) were defunded or delayed for another year.
This shut down is impacting many people in Virginia, as many of you sitting at home (because you are unable to go into your federal government job) undoubtedly know. People from both political parties can agree: politicians should not be using their platform to push their ideological agendas instead of accomplishing what their constituents sent them to Washington to do,
Unfortunately, these actions are not unlike what gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli did in 2008 when he added a budget amendment to the State Senate to defund Planned Parenthood and nearly killed the entire state budget. Cuccinelli’s amendment sparked a partisan debate on the floor that stalled the vote for nearly four hours, and when the amendment was not included in the final budget, he introduced it again in 2009.
While frustrations with the representatives in Washington are growing, some may be wondering what this shutdown has to do with the Virginia gubernatorial election this November. Here it is in a nutshell: the federal government his shut down because a few politicians put their extreme ideologies (including an anti-choice insistence on interfering with birth control) before the people of the United States. We in Virginia certainly do not want partisan opinions involving women’s choice to put our general assembly to a halt like they have done in Congress – and like Ken Cuccinelli threatened to do in 2008.
Need more proof of Cuccinelli’s extremism? Cuccinelli is supported by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who led the battle cry to defund the Affordable Care Act or shut down the government. In fact, Ted Cruz is campaigning for Cuccinelli this weekend along with the Family Foundation – an organization that makes restricting women’s health it’s top priority. While the representatives in Washington have gotten away with using their extreme ideologies as bargaining chips in keeping the government running, we cannot allow the same to happen in Virginia. Cuccinelli has proven that he is willing to push his anti-choice agenda at any cost, even if that means stalling votes on important bills.
Virginia needs a governor who prioritizes the best interest of the state over their own ideologies. Cuccinelli has proven that nothing, not even honoring the rights for rape or incest victims to choose, will stop him from pursuing his hardline anti-choice agenda. If you are furloughed and have a bit of unexpected freetime on your hands, we encourage you to volunteer with us or make a call to let Cuccinelli know that you won’t stand for the Virginia government being stalled for the anti-choice agenda. Thank you!