Gerlach says offices will remain open to serve constituents

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Washington, Oct 1, 2013 | comments

 Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) said Tuesday that his offices will remain open and staff will be available to help constituents throughout the federal government shutdown, which went into effect just after midnight.

"I am extremely disappointed that the President and Congress were unable to reach consensus on a bill to keep the government open while protecting taxpayers, families and small businesses from the disastrous side-effects of the health care law. A government shutdown is the last thing anyone wanted to happen, and the House did everything possible to prevent it," Gerlach said. "However, I take very seriously my responsibility to serve and assist all the people I have the privilege of representing in this District. My constituents will still have questions and concerns, and they deserve to have someone answer their phone calls and correspondence -- even when Washington shuts down."

Gerlach added that while staff in Washington and District Offices in Berks, Chester, Lebanon and Montgomery counties will be available to provide information and initiate inquiries with federal agencies, responses from federal agencies may be delayed and it may take longer for those agencies to process new applications due to anticipated furloughs of non-essential federal employees.

The Congressman has worked to ameliorate the effects a government shutdown will have on our nation’s military. He helped the House pass H.R. 3210, the Pay Our Military Act, which guarantees that the men and women serving our country in the military will be paid during this shutdown. The U.S. Senate passed the bill and the President has signed the measure into law.

"The men and women who sacrifice everything serving our country are the most essential federal employees we have," Gerlach said. "The paychecks they have earned should not stop just because Congress and the President cannot agree on a budget.” 

Additional information about how federal agencies will be affected by this shutdown is available at http://www.usa.gov/shutdown.shtml

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