Statement of Governor LePage on End to Federal Government Shutdown

October 17, 2013

For Immediate Release: Thursday, Oct. 17 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage released today the following statement about the end of the federal government shutdown:

“The federal shutdown was the result of a failure of leadership in Washington, D.C., but its consequences affected Maine families and state employees, as well as important services and programs throughout the state and country. Politicians forced the shutdown to score political points, but it caused real financial hardships for many caught in the middle. Shutting down government is never going to solve problems. We need strong leaders who have the courage to make the tough decisions on difficult issues and who will put politics aside to do what is right for the people.

The tactics of the shutdown were a mistake, but the unchecked spending and massive debt this country has incurred creates tremendous uncertainty for America’s economic future. Congress and the President must do their jobs. They must address our nation’s growing $17 trillion debt, and they must put our country back on stable financial ground. It is reckless and counterproductive to keep raising the debt ceiling limit every few months.

“Furthermore, we should recognize that states must play a significant role in reducing federal spending. For much too long, Maine has relied far too heavily on federal dollars to fund many of our programs and services. This is unsustainable. It is time to seriously question whether it is fiscally prudent to keep depending on the federal government when we know it’s unpredictable and unaffordable.”