On September 28, 2013 Rep. Bera of California asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives for a few minutes regarding the looming government shutdown.
“Mr. Speaker, we can avoid this. Let’s do what our history has shown us we can do. President Ronald Reagan was able to work with Speaker Tip O’Neill and get something done. That’s what happens in divided government. President Bill Clinton was able to work with Speaker Newt Gingrich and get something done. That’s what happens in divided government. You work together. You listen to each other. You don’t play this blame game. You act like adults.”
“Let’s start talking and let’s start listening to one another. That’s what the American public wants. They want Democrats and Republicans to bring their best ideas forward, put those ideas on the table, and put the people first. It’s not that hard to do. That’s what we teach our kids to do. That’s what we do for those of us that have worked in the private sector. That’s what American families do every day. They learn how to work together”, he said.
“The House is controlled by Republicans, the Senate is controlled by Democrats, and President Obama was reelected as a Democratic President. This is divided government. Mr. Speaker, sit down with the President, sit down with the leadership, put the best ideas forward, and compromise. We can’t operate in a my-way-or-the-highway mentality, a winner-take-all mentality because that’s killing this country. The public is watching. In these next 3 days, I hope this body acts like adults and we don’t start playing the blame game and saying, Oh, it’s the Republicans’ fault; oh, it’s the Democrats’ fault. That’s not going to get us anywhere> he continued.
“Yesterday, the Senate passed a continuing resolution to keep the government funded for 2 months. That isn’t a solution, but at least it gives us 2 months to act like adults and put together a real budget. At its core, that’s what we need to do. The number one job for elected officials, for all of us in this body, is to put together a real budget that takes the best Democratic ideas and the best Republican ideas, puts them together and puts the American people first”, said Rep. Bera of California (Source: Congressional Record http://thomas.loc.gov/).
Congressman Bera is the only Indian American currently serving in Congress.
Congressman Bera is a member of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. He is also a member of the New Democrat Coalition,