OPINION: Shutdown has hurt your constituents, Rep. Miller

Published: Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 04:59 PM.

I have seen the comments by our District 1 Representative in the House of Congress, Jeff Miller, about how the dysfunction in Washington should be held responsible for the recent government shutdown of Veterans' Services across the country.  I agree with him. 

Mr. Miller went on to say “the ball is in the Senate's court where those services are concerned because the House has passed two bills, now over 125 days old, that would put the VA up and running.” That is also an irrefutable fact. One problem exists with Mr. Miller's reasoning though.  If he has always been so intent on funding the VA, then why did he vote for a spending bill he knew would cause a shutdown leading to the ensuing catastrophe? 

It seems the House had a contingency plan over the past year to build up to the shutdown with a handful of Republican House members admitting as much on networks across the nation. Was Mr. Miller part of this plot to shut down the government? I believe the pre-hashed VA bills are proof that he was. He is also not on the list of congressmen in the House who ultimately signed a "clean bill,” ending the shutdown. Mr. Miller voted NO on the bill that ultimately opened the government back up.

Thousands of people in his own district were furloughed — people with families, homes, bills to pay and food to buy, and even though Mr. Miller, along with some of his constituents, sent a letter asking for furloughed employees to be put back to work, this was all after the fact as if they were slowly regaining consciousness and becoming aware of the nightmare reality they created for Americans. 

Meanwhile, a food borne illness outbreak converged on the country, including Florida , and the FDA was not on the job. The CDC halted work on a deadly bacterium that had already killed one person in our area. They shuttered their doors and went home, closing their flu program at the beginning of flu season. The EPA halted cleanup efforts on hundreds of hazardous sites throughout the nation. 

And while the consensus of local agencies is that approximately 20 percent of residents in this area are without health insurance, Mr. Miller joined his Republican cohorts in Washington to waste over $50 million fighting The Affordable Care Act with the counter clicking off $24 billion more squandered for the shutdown, besides the incalculable costs.  

All of the aforementioned affect Mr. Miller’s district. This is more than a VA problem.

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