SDDP Chair Deb Knecht calls on Noem to end GOP shutdown after devastating cattle losses from October blizzard

For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sioux Falls, SD (October 10, 2013) – With cattle losses mounting west river after a devastating early October blizzard, South Dakota Democratic Party Chair Deb Knecht called on Congresswoman Kristi Noem to immediately stop holding government operations hostage in her futile attempt to block the Affordable Care Act.

“In the face of devastating cattle losses west river, Noem has been defiant in her demands to block the Affordable Care Act before opening government offices that can provide assistance to South Dakota ranchers,” says Knecht. “That’s why I’m calling on Noem to drop her demands to block the Affordable Care Act and immediately open the federal government today.”

South Dakota ranchers and ranching organizations have been frustrated by the federal government shutdown. South Dakota Cattleman’s Association executive director Jodie Anderson told the Rapid City Journal, “A lot of the government agencies that we would normally be turning to for answers are furloughed. So there’s this sort of timing issue that’s enhancing the frustration out here in cattle country.”

“South Dakotans are rallying to support our ranchers west river,” says Knect, “but because Noem and her tea party friends in the House forced a government shutdown to block the Affordable Care Act, our ranchers can’t rely on Farm Service Agency offices for assistance.” 

Knecht says there’s any easy fix for Noem to provide immediate help to wist river ranchers: “Congresswoman Noem – for the sake of South Dakota ranchers, please drop your demands to block the Affordable Care Act and immediately reopen the federal government today.”

Knecht notes that Noem and House Republicans have blocked efforts to reopen the government 12 times in the last 10 days. 

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BACKGROUND:

House Republicans Have Voted Twelve Times Against Efforts to Re-Open the Government, in Hopeless Effort to Deny Funding for Health Care Reform. Since the federal government shutdown, House Republicans have voted twelve times against efforts to vote on a clean government funding resolution by allowing consideration of the Senate-passed continuing resolution. [H Res 370, Vote #509, 10/02/13; HJ Res 70, Vote #512, 10/02/13; HR 3230, Vote #515, 10/03/13; HJ Res 72, Vote #517, 10/03/13; H Res 371, Vote #519, 10/04/13; HJ Res 85, Vote #521, 10/04/13; HJ Res 75, Vote #523, 10/04/13; H J Res 77,  Vote #527, 10/7/13; HJ Res 84, Vote #529, 10/08/13; H Res 373, Vote #531, 10/08/13; HR 3273, Vote #533, 10/08/13, Vote #536, 10/09/13]

Thune & Noem Defiant in Face of Government Shutdown: “Mount Rushmore will close, certain food assistance programs will stop operating, and 800,000 federal employees across the nation will be furloughed today, after the Republican-controlled House forced the first partial government shutdown in 17 years.The shutdown came after House Republicans demanded that the Senate, controlled by Democrats, defund or delay parts of President Obama’s 2010 health care overhaul in exchange for passage of a bill that would continue government spending. Obama and congressional Democrats have remained steadfast in their refusal to give in to Republican demands.” [Rapid City Journal, 10/1/13]

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