Recklessness & Irresponsibility: Cassidy Threatening To Shut Down Government
Bill Cassidy is threatening to shut down the government, which could have devastating consequences for Louisiana small businesses and the workers they employ across the state. Bill Cassidy’s recklessness and irresponsibility was on display last week when he was one of 80 House members who signed a letter urging Speaker Boehner and Eric Cantor to shut down the government and allow the country to default this fall.
Last week, Cassidy actually told an audience in Louisiana that he wouldn’t support shutting down the government, but he immediately changed course when it was revealed that in 2007 Cassidy pushed for state run health care exchanges, similar to those in the Affordable Care Act.
Since 2012, more than 800 Louisiana small businesses received nearly $265.5 million in financing to start and grow companies that created jobs across the state. A government shutdown would mean that small businesses in Louisiana would be denied the credit they need to grow because the Small Business Administration wouldn’t be able to process new loans. During the government shutdowns in the 90’s more than $27 million in loans to small businesses were delayed in Louisiana because the Small Business Administration couldn't guarantee loans. In fact, 60 small businesses were forced to wait as long as six months before receiving their loans.
Cassidy’s shutdown plan has been ripped by numerous Republican Senators, including John McCain.
“Bill Cassidy’s plan to shut down the government would have devastating consequences for Louisiana small businesses that would be denied the financing they need to start up and employ hard-working Louisianians. Cassidy’s plan displays the recklessness and irresponsibility of an ideologue who bows to special interests in Washington and puts partisan politics ahead of Louisiana families,” said Justin Barasky, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “Republican Senators have slammed Cassidy’s position, which would stop the processing of new small business loans and result in small businesses failing and less jobs. Louisianians need leaders who are standing up for them in Washington, not self-serving politicians like Bill Cassidy who care more about scoring political points with the right instead of fighting for Louisiana.”
During the congressional recess the DSCC is highlighting the many ways in which Bill Cassidy’s government shutdown plan would harm Louisiana and the country, starting with seniors who rely on Social Security and students who depend on much needed help to pay for school.
Recent polling shows Mary Landrieu leading Bill Cassidy by double digits.
GOP’s Government Shutdown Could Hurt Small Businesses: The Small Business Administration would not be able to process new loans, denying small businesses the credit they need just as the economy is starting to grow again. The Dallas Morning News reported that, during the 1995-96 shutdowns, “More than $ 1 million in loans to small businesses were delayed because the Small Business Administration couldn't guarantee loans.” In all, approximately 5,200 small businesses were delayed in receiving SBA guaranteed financing during the last shutdowns. Thus far in 2013, SBA has approved more than 37,000 7(a) and ARC loans every, the processing of which could be delayed by a shutdown. [Christian Science Monitor, 4/8/11; Committee on Appropriations, 4/6/11; SBA Weekly Lending Report]
- In Louisiana, 211 loans valued at $27 million were committed by the SBA but delayed during the 1995-96 shutdowns. In fact, 60 small business were forced to wait as long as 6 months before receiving their loans. [SBA Louisiana District Office, 8/27/13]
- During 2012 through 2013 (to date), SBA Louisiana backed 805 7(a) and 504 loans valued at $265.5 million. [SBA Louisiana District Office, 8/27/13]
8/21/13: Cassidy Told Louisiana Audience That He Would Not Support Shutting Down The Government In Order To Defund Health Insurance Reform. The Associated Press reported on Cassidy speaking to a local homebuilders association: “U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy split with some hard-line members of the GOP on Wednesday, saying he wouldn't support a federal government shutdown as a way to defund President Barack Obama's health care law if the move would stop defense spending.” [Centre Daily, 8/21/13]
8/21/13: Cassidy Was One Of 80 House Republicans Who Signed Letter Calling For Government Shutdown Unless Health Insurance Reform Funding Was Cut After Push From Heritage Foundation. The Hill reported, “A growing group of congressional Republicans is pushing leaders to defund ObamaCare in the next government spending bill, setting the stage for a showdown in September, when the current continuing resolution expires.” The report noted that a letter from Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) was gaining steam in the House Republican conference that called on Boehner and Cantor “not to allow votes on a government funding bill unless it chokes off money for the Affordable Care Act.” Roll Call reported, “Heritage Action for America has a message for 100 House Republicans: You want to sign freshman Rep. Mark Meadows’ letter…The full text of the letter and final list of co-signers won’t be made public until Thursday, Meadows’ office told CQ Roll Call. But when it is sent to House Republican leaders, it will demand that they “take the steps necessary to defund Obamacare in its entirety, including on a year-end funding bill like a continuing resolution.” The letter which was signed by Cassidy and 79 other House members said, “we urge you to affirmatively de-fund the implementation and enforcement of ObamaCare in any relevant appropriations bill brought to the House floor in the 113th Congress, including any continuing appropriations bill.” [The Hill, 7/25/13; Roll Call, 8/20/13; Meadows Letter to Boehner & Cantor, 8/21/13]
2007: Cassidy Proposed Louisiana “Create a Statewide Health Insurance Exchange” During State Senate Campaign. During his campaign for the State Senate, Cassidy proposed that Louisiana “create a statewide Health Insurance Exchange to lower insurance premiums, decrease administrative costs and allow flexibility in which benefits workers choose.” [Cassidy for State Senate, Website Archive, 2007]