AUGUSTA—The President of the Maine Senate and the Speaker of the House released the following statement on the unnecessary shutdown of the federal government by Republican Tea Party members of Congress.

 “As lawmakers it is always our job to make sure government works for the people. We should question the motives behind those who work against us. The fact that one small group from one political party is blackmailing the rest of the country is shameful,” said Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland. “Because of their actions, here in Maine, some folks will be prevented from moving forward with their home loans, thousands will lose their paycheck, and scores of businesses will be put on hold until this mess is cleaned up. I’m proud that in the Maine Legislature, we don’t behave that way. We show up and do our job—even when we disagree.”

 In June the Legislature passed a responsible, balanced budget that prevented massive property tax spikes, restored cuts to Maine public schools and to programs that help seniors pay for care and medicine.  While Governor LePage vetoed the bipartisan budget, the Legislature came together to override his veto and averted a state shutdown in Maine.

 “The people of Maine and millions of Americans across the country woke up shaking our heads this morning,” said Speaker of the House Mark Eves. “We are tired of Tea Party politicians who are more interested in running our government into the ground than making it work. Now, more than ever, we must collaborate to move our state and country forward. Democrats are committed to doing so as we head into the next legislative session.”

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