U.S. Rep. Joseph Courtney on Saturday announced that he has joined some members of Congress to sign a petition to re-open the government.
The 2nd District Democrat lives in Vernon.
The special congressional procedure, known as a "discharge petition," allows a majority of members to force an up or down vote on a bill to reopen the government Courtney said.
"Since House Republicans forced the shutdown of the federal government on October 1, 2013, Republican leaders have intractably refused requests from Democrats and some Republicans to pass a compromise funding resolution without controversial provisions and reopen the federal government," Courtney said. “Speaker Boehner’s refusal to confront his most recalcitrant members and his forfeiture of his responsibility to the American people has left me no other choice than to join with my colleagues on a discharge petition to allow a vote on a bill to reopen the government,” said Representative Courtney. The dysfunction and paralysis of the House Republican Conference has now leaked out of their ranks to poison our entire government. I urge a handful of Republican colleagues to stand up to this pointless shutdown and threat to our economy by signing onto the discharge petition and ending this crisis.”
Courtney estimated that the government shutdown is costing taxpayers $300 million a day.
"The shutdown has stalled much-needed housing loans for American families, arrested critical loans to small businesses, and slowed the processing of veterans disability claims. It has prevented the National Institutes of Health from accepting new patients and has suspended life-saving medical research," he said.
The discharge petition for H. Res. 372 would allow an up or down vote on a clean continuing resolution, providing funding through Nov. 15 at a compromise level requested by Speaker Boehner. This discharge petition needs only a majority of House Members to sign on requires no further action from the Republican leadership, Courtney said.
Previous discharge petitions have successfully forced the consideration of legislation before the full House, Courtney said. Citing the Congressional Research Service, seven discharge petitions have received 218 signatures over the past 30 years and in all seven cases, the majority party agreed to bring the measure to the House floor, he said.
Courtney said 12 measures were allowed to be brought to the House floor even before the discharge petition reached the full 218 signatures.
Courtney said members of Congress who have signed onto the discharge petition can be tracked in real time by visiting the House Clerk’s office: