Northwest Florida congressman Matt Gaetz has cancelled his public events in Pensacola Monday following the federal government’s shutdown over a budget impasse.
Gaetz had been scheduled to visit Tate High School, Ascend Performance Materials, and a Home Depot store on Monday, as well as hold “mobile office hours” and a town hall meeting at Navy Federal Credit Union’s Heritage Oaks campus.
“While I’d rather be in Pensacola for the scheduled town hall meeting and other planned Open Gaetz Day events, I’ll be at work in Washington to help make sure our government gets back to business and continues funding our military,” Gaetz said in a statement. “We will reschedule our town hall meeting soon.”
Appointments made with Gaetz for the mobile office hours will go on as scheduled, he said, with members of Gaetz’s staff instead of the congressman.
Much of the federal government shut down on midnight Saturday after Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on a continuing resolution to fund the government. A vote has been scheduled in the Senate for noon Monday which could fund the government through Feb. 8.
On Friday, Gaetz voted against a continuing resolution to fund the government, and released a statement defending his vote.
“The Congressional budget and appropriations process is badly broken, and in need of large-scale reform,” Gaetz said. “We must pass spending bills in a timely fashion, instead of a succession of short-term stopgap funding measures like today’s continuing resolution. I voted against today’s bill because it continues the pattern of reckless government overspending, and because it shows that Congress is not exercising the power of the purse responsibly, which is our constitutional duty.”
The practice of funding the federal government month-to-month with continuing resolutions “plays politics with our national security,” Gaetz said.
“If the Department of Defense cannot ensure its funding will be adequate for the entire year, complex strategic operations are jeopardized, small businesses who contract with the military are harmed, and military families nationwide will be uneasy about their next paycheck,” added Gaetz. “Congress must improve its budget and appropriations processes, stop kicking the can down the road, and make these endless strings of continuing resolutions a thing of the past.”