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Democratic delegates call on House Republicans to end budget gridlock

3/12/2014, 12:28 p.m.
Del. David Toscano

This morning, Democratic House Leader David Toscano, Democratic Caucus Chair Mark Sickles, and Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Jennifer McClellan held a press call charging House Republicans with refusal to take any action to close the coverage gap.

“House Republicans continue to play Washington-style, shutdown politics that is costing Virginia taxpayers’ money and leaving thousands of uninsured Virginians without access to quality, affordable health care,” said Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Jennifer McClellan. “This obstructionism has already lost $355 million of our own Federal tax dollars this year, and we will continue to lose money until the House Republicans come to the table.

“But House Republicans continue to put their Tea Party ideology first – isolating themselves from a bipartisan group of hospitals, chambers, business leaders, mayors, and Virginia families who are calling on us to act. It’s time to end the political games and gimmicks and work on a plan to bring our federal dollars back home and close the coverage gap.”

“The House Republicans response to any action to close the coverage gap and bring our tax dollars back to Virginia continues to be ‘no,’” said Democratic House Leader David Toscano. “We said let’s find a Virginia way to extend health care to hardworking Virginians, they said ‘no.’ We said inaction costs us $5 million dollars a day and puts our hospitals at risk, they said ‘no.’

“‘No’ is not a policy. ‘No’ is not a compromise. ‘No’ is a recipe for gridlock and shutdown.”

“One thing we continue to hear from the House Republicans is let’s separate this issue from the budget then we’ll deal with closing the coverage gap,” said Democratic Caucus Chair Mark Sickles. “But it is impossible to extricate Medicaid from the budget deliberations. This is just another tactic for delay from the House Republicans who continue to stand alone, unwilling to compromise in their opposition to helping our poor citizens gain access to health care for the first time.

“It’s time for the House Republicans to come to the table and end this gridlock. Uncompromising, Washington-style politics have no place in Richmond. We must pass a budget that extends routine, preventative, and life saving health care in a responsible and timely way.”