Shea-Porter Has a ‘Lot of Sympathy’ for Boehner
As originally appearing in Portsmouth Patch

Shea-Porter tells New England Council members Congress wants to pass legislation to help the economy, but must first overcome gridlock.

By Robert Cook

U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-NH, told more than 70 business leaders Tuesday morning that Congress does understand what needs to be done to jump start the economy, but the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives is politically paralyzed.

The situation is so bad in Washington that Shea-Porter said, “I actually have a lot of sympathy for Speaker (John) Boehner right now.”She told New England Council members who gathered at Pierce Atwood at Pease International Tradeport that the House Speaker is willing to work with House Democrats to pass bills that would spur the economy, but there are certain factions within the GOP that refuse to allow him to do that.

One of the biggest pieces of legislation that is caught in the middle of the political gridlock is the American Jobs Act of 2013.

If passed, Shea-Porter said it would create middle class and small business tax cuts, put veterans to work, invest more money into the country’s infrastructure and transportation needs and repeal sequestration, which she called “a rolling wave” that will continue to threaten federal workers and social programs for years to come.

Shea-Porter said she has always recognized the importance of reducing the country’s debt ceiling, which she said is “a terrible, terrible, terrible thing.” But she said sequestration is not the answer.

Shea-Porter noted that sequestration cuts that went into effect in March 2013 threatened Portsmouth Naval Shipyard workers with furloughs earlier this summer and forced the Head Start program in Newmarket to close. She said other programs like Meals on Wheels and community health clinics are also threatened.

Despite the difficult challenge she faces in Congress, Shea-Porter remains optimistic that Democrats and Republicans will overcome the gridlock and work together the way members of the New Hampshire Congressional delegation have to help Pease Air National Guard Base secure the new KC-46A Stratotankers and federal TIGER grants for the Memorial Bridge project and the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge project.

As the National Affordable Health Care Act goes into effect in 2014, Shea-Porter also told business leaders she is amendable to tweaking it when problems are identified that hurt business, but she will never vote to repeal it as House Republicans have done 40 times since it was passed into law in 2009.

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