Reform Movement Condemns Government Shutdown

In response to the failure of Congress to pass a funding bill, resulting in a government shutdown, Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement today:

On behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.3 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the world’s oldest and largest rabbinic organization whose membership includes over 2,000 Reform Rabbis, I urge Congress to end this devastating government shutdown.

Partisan brinksmanship in Congress has jeopardized the vital safety net programs that millions rely on, including aid to struggling new mothers and their children – a service used by half of all infants in America. This is in addition to the 800,000 families of federal workers who will be going without pay due to unnecessary furloughs. Many other families will be affected by greater unemployment caused by the broad economic uncertainty. This blatant disregard for struggling and working families stands in stark contrast to today’s launch of open enrollment that enables millions of previously uninsured people to finally access health care exchanges. We call on Congress to swiftly pass a clean funding bill, restore the vital services that so many need, and halt efforts to defund or delay implementation of the core components of the Affordable Care Act.

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From the URJ

3 Responses to “Reform Movement Condemns Government Shutdown”

  1. avatar

    I would expect nothing less than to have Rabbi David Saperstein condemn the Republicans and praise the Democrats
    ( without using these names specifically )
    for the current government shutdown. The
    President and Democrats are defending a
    law (The Affordable(?) Healthcare Act) that congress “had to pass before they could find out what is in it”, and now that that they know what’s in it, they asked for and received an exemption from! (Sorry for the long and confusing sentence)
    There have been many opportunities for the Senate to pass bills that would fund the government and allow for discussion of
    Obamacare, but they have not done so.

    Rabbi Saperstein, and the URJ by extention, if you want to decry the shutting down of the Federal government then do so, but don’t place blame on only
    one of the parties involved, or ignore any blame due our President (missing in action, as usual).

    As a conservative, I realize that I represent a small (but growing) percentage of Reform Jews, whose views are just as important as those of the larger, more liberal,faction. The problem is that our viewpoint is rarely acknowledged.

    Thank you

  2. avatar

    The cause of the gov’t shutdown is Obama and Harry Reid…full stop. If the President exhibited on scintilla of leadership (read that, compromise), this would be over.

  3. avatar
    Lowell E. Abramson Reply October 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Kudos to Norman Weiss for his reply to Rabbi Saperstein. The Affordable Health Care Act is the law of the land and its implementation should not be delayed by negotiations over the debt ceiling or the federal budget deficit. That said, the Obama administration should not exempt Congressional employees from provisions of the law nor should the administration grant delays and other exemptions. Either the Act should go forward according to law or it should be subject to bi-partisan debate and negotiations. “Try it, you will like it” has been replaced by the law of unintended consequences.

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