News and Tribune

Floyd County

October 4, 2013

Local officials consider shutdown effect

Young: Senate needs to come to negotiating table

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY — FEDERAL COURTHOUSE OPERATING

A spokesman for the agency that manages federal buildings, the U.S. General Services Administration, said the Lee H. Hamilton Federal Building in New Albany was fully operational Wednesday.

He was attempting to confirm the status for the building Thursday as of press time, but the doors to the structure were open and security was present and checking entrants in the lobby as usual.

The voicemail for Cynthia Alchin, property manager for the Lee H. Hamilton Federal Building, stated  Thursday that she would be unable to answer phone calls or return messages due to the shutdown.

U.S. Bankruptcy and district courts as well as offices for U.S. Attorneys and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are located in the building.

YOUNG: SENATE NEEDS TO NEGOTIATE

U.S. Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., voted in favor of resolutions that passed the House that would fund certain federal operations such as the National Institutes of Health. But the Democratic-controlled Senate, as of press time Thursday, doesn’t appear likely to hold votes on the separate funding measures.

President Barack Obama and Democratic leadership have stated they won’t negotiate funding a handful of departments. Instead, Democrats have called for an up or down vote in the House on a “clean” funding bill that would foot all previously approved programs including the Affordable Care Act.

Young said it’s time for the Senate to come to the negotiating table.

“On three separate occasions in the past week and a half, I voted for House proposals to keep the government running,” Young said in a news release. “The Senate rejected two of those resolutions without offering a new proposal of their own.”

There’s still disagreement over funding the Affordable Care Act, but Young urged the Senate to take up legislation that would fund noncontroversial programs such as benefits for veterans.

During an August stop in New Albany, Young told the News and Tribune that blocking funding for the new health care law likely wouldn’t succeed. He foreshadowed a scenario where Congress would fund short extensions of the government, and ultimately the president would be forced to sign comprehensive tax reform into law.

Young said he still disagreed with the law, but added he didn’t believe breaching funding deadlines would be a viable option to delay or void the Affordable Care Act.

When asked if Young had changed his position, the congressman’s office responded Thursday that it’s up to the Senate to come to the negotiating table with the House to iron out the differences over government funding where disagreements remain.

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