Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, joined 86 of her GOP colleagues in the House of Representatives on Wednesday night voting to end a partial government shutdown that lasted 16 days.
In a statement following the vote, the congresswoman and chair of the House Republican Conference continued attacks on the Affordable Care Act, the nation's health care overhaul that launched its online marketplaces the same day the federal government shuttered most of its doors.
"House Republicans have done everything possible to protect the American people from the arbitrary regulations and unnecessary costs of the President’s health care law," McMorris Rodgers said in her prepared remarks.
In the early days of the shutdown, House Republicans were calling for a year delay of the requirement for individuals to sign up for the exchanges after President Barack Obama said employers would be granted such a reprieve while the kinks were worked out in the marketplaces. That demand was one of many that Republicans - facing growing opposition among the American people, according to polls cited in a Slate report - were forced to drop as the shutdown dragged on.
"We did not accomplish everything we hoped," McMorris Rodgers said in her statement. She continued, however, with a tone of hope that some of the concessions sought by Republicans on spending might yet be attained.
"In the end, the Senate agreed to come to the table and start to talk," McMorris Rodgers said.
Those talks will take the form of a budget conference - requested multiple times throughout the summer by Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. - that must reconcile by Dec. 13 massive differences between budget resolutions passed by each chamber earlier this year. That timeframe was included in the bill passed Wednesday night.
To read McMorris Rodgers' entire statement, click here to go inside the blog.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers' full statement following the vote to reopen the federal government follows:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), Chair of the House Republican Conference, released the following statement after the House and Senate both passed a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government’s budget for 2014 fiscal year and avoid default.
“With our vote today, the government is back open, thousands are back to work, and America’s place at the center of the world’s financial system has been ensured.
“House Republicans have done everything possible to protect the American people from the arbitrary regulations and unnecessary costs of the President’s health care law. We tried over and over again to engage the Senate in serious negotiations to protect the fiscal health of our nation, reduce the deficit, and bring the debt under control.
“We did not accomplish everything we hoped. But, in the end, the Senate agreed to come to the table and start to talk. This temporary solution to reopen the government and make sure we can pay our bills sets up bipartisan negotiations that I hope will lead to common sense solutions on spending and tax reform that is fair to all Americans.
“House Republicans are united. We will continue to work to fix an out-of-control government that has so weakened our economy and kept millions out of work.
“We have seen during the past few weeks how much Americans love our country - its monuments and parks; its federal agencies that conduct medical research, ensure food safety, provide veteran’s assistance, and help our most vulnerable. Let’s take the barricades down at the Lincoln and World War II memorials, open up Lake Roosevelt, and bring everyone back to work so that we can move forward to fight on behalf of all Americans – the moms, dads, seniors, and young people.
“Our government cannot work unless both parties talk and work together to find common ground and common sense solutions. It’s my hope that today’s bill will be the start of serious negotiations and pragmatic solutions to provide fairness for all.”