Maine Legislature

Speakerís Office



October 4, 2013


Contact: Jodi Quintero: 841-6279


Speaker Eves: Politics of Obstruction Doesnít Serve the People


Good morning, Iím Speaker of the House Mark Eves of North Berwick.


Itís Day Five of a federal government shutdown. Workers in Maine, from Cutler to Limestone to Kittery, are going without pay -- our shipyards and air traffic controllers are in a stand still. Our National Parks and the Appalachian Trail are closed at the height of Maineís beautiful fall season. Our National Guard employees face furloughs. The Small Business Administration has been forced to stop making loans that help Maine business start up and grow.


Like so many Maine people and Americans across the country, Iím disgusted and frustrated with whatís happening in Washington, DC.


The reckless and irresponsible actions of a small faction of Tea Party Republicans in Congress is hurting our economy and holding our government hostage -- all because they donít like one law.


One law that that will help millions more Americans be able to see a doctor when they are sick.


Now, this law -- The Affordable Care Act - has been upheld by the Supreme Court and fought over in last yearís election. It withstood constitutional muster and swayed public opinion -- and it prevailed.


The Affordable Care Act and its supporters prevailed because so many Americans and so many Mainers know what its like to be up against financial ruin in the face of mounting health care bills.  Health care in this country should not be privilege for a few. It is a right that we should all have no matter what we do or how much money we make.


Nobody should go broke just because they get sick.


The Affordable Care Act makes that possible. It makes it possible for more families to see a family doctor when they are sick.


This week the health care exchanges that are part of that law opened enrollment. Those marketplace exchanges help make health insurance coverage more affordable.


On Tuesday, Millions of middle class families and small businesses owners in Maine and around the country flooded to sign up. Some who will be able to afford a doctor for the first time in decades.


The positive outcomes of the law are exactly what Tea Party Republicans in Congress want to distract the American people from. And that is what is at the heart of this shutdown. And it is shameful.


Shutdown politics are no way to run a government.


Here in Maine we avoided a government shutdown after Tea Party Governor Paul LePage vetoed the state budget. We didnít agree to his my-way-or-the-highway approach that would have hurt our economy and our middle class, so he tried to drown it with drama.


But Democrats and some moderate Republicans said NO.


We came together to do whatís right for the people we serve -- not a group on the partisan fringe. We overrode the veto.


Iím proud that the Maine Legislature didnít allow Tea Party obstructionists to win with their bully tactics.


The people of Maine and millions of Americans across the country are tired of Tea Party politicians who are more interested in running our government into the ground than making it work.


I hope you will join me in standing up to this politics of obstruction.


Thank you for listening, Iím Speaker of the House Mark Eves.