Cognitive Dissonance

23 Oct



October 22, 2013
Dear Mr. Bedenko,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the recent lapse in government funding.  I appreciate hearing from you. 

On October 1, President Obama chose to shutdown the government, despite four different measures by the House to keep the government open and fully funded, which I wholeheartedly supported.  This occurred – as it has 17 times before since 1972 – as a result of the failure to pass a federal budget by the end of the fiscal year. 

The federal budget is made up of 12 appropriations bills that fit within the topline budget number laid out by both the House and Senate.  While the House has passed a budget blueprint along with many of these appropriations bills, the Senate had failed to act.  The only action the Senate has taken has been in passing a topline budget number – and they did this for the first time in four years after the House tied congressional pay to actual results in passing a budget blueprint.

It is the primary responsibility of the President and Congress to pass a budget. This process is critical in ensuring the federal government lives within it means. Instead, however, Congress has continued to kick the can down the road numerous times by passing continuing resolutions that do nothing to get our fiscal house in order. 

With a $700 billion a year spending deficit that is adding to our nearly $17 trillion national debt, we cannot keep relying on continuing resolutions to keep the government funded.  We need to make tough decisions and muster the political courage to avoid adding billions more to a credit card bill our children and grandchildren will be left to pay. That is why I opposed the Continuing Appropriations Act for 2013 (H.R. 2775), because it failed to structurally balance our budget.

I understand the difficult nature of the shutdown and voted to avoid it.  The House voted on four different continuing resolutions that included provisions that would have helped alleviate the enormous tab our government is leaving behind for future generations.  I even supported 16 separate continuing resolutions to reopen certain functions of the federal government that are critical to the welfare of this nation.  However, the President and the Senate on multiple occasions ignored these pieces of legislation and numerous offers to sit down at the table and work out a deal that would end the shutdown and avoid a debt crunch.  They chose not to act for two whole weeks and waited to negotiate until the final days of when the U.S. Treasury needed an extension on its borrowing authority.

During the shutdown, I committed to not taking a salary because it was the right thing to do.  I introduced the Government Shutdown Fairness Act that would withhold the salaries of Members of Congress during any future shutdown.  As a private sector businessman, I know firsthand that running a successful company means leading by example and making sacrifices to keep the company going.  I cannot remember the number of times I had to forego a paycheck to make sure my employees and vendors got paid, and the company stayed afloat. Members of Congress need to do the same.

America has a significant and dangerous spending problem.  The President and the Senate need to recognize this and get serious about finding a long-term solution that will put us on a fiscally responsible track while growing our economy.  I was not elected to Congress to continue the status quo, I was elected to fix serious problems that threaten future generations from obtaining the American Dream. 

I appreciate you contacting my office regarding issues important to you and your family.  I hope you will consider signing up for my newsletter at to stay up to date on the critical issues facing our country.





Member of Congress

10 Responses to “Cognitive Dissonance”

  1. Brian Buckley October 23, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    GOVERNMENT IS NOT A BUSINESS. Didn’t he learn this when he was run out of the County Executive’s seat because he was so bad at trying to run government like a business?! Why do Republicans insist on comparing government spending to household debt? It makes no sense. No economist out there agrees with this analogy. Most agree that in times of economic collapse, government spending must increase. The Obama administration has already done something the Bust administration never did, bring down the budget deficit. Hopefully voters remember their anger over this shutdown come NEXT November and vote for real change this time. Unfortunately, between the media’s and the voter’s short attention span/memory, along with the gerrymandering the Republicans were able to do in 2010, we are in for more of the same…

  2. Sean Danvers October 23, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    Impressive you managed to get this posted. I would have immediately wiped my ass with it.

    • Oswald Carnes October 23, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

      That’s only effective if you mail it back to Chris.

  3. Larry Burch October 23, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Yesterday at a meeting of the Farm Bureau and Cornell Cooperative Extension, which I am a part of, one of Congressman Collins’s staffers was there to tell us how he supports our organizations and is there to help. I had to try really hard not to laugh. I don’t think she knows that as county exec, collins actually cut CCE and EC Soli and Water’s funding ENTIRELY in 2011, which was thankfully restored by the legislature. Pardon my skepticism in his offer of assistance and being our ‘chearleader.’ He’ll literally say anything.

  4. jamesholstun October 23, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    Chris Collins thinks “shutdown” is a verb and “topline” an adjective. And he thinks it’s okay for grownups to refer to “the final days of when the U.S. Treasury needed an extension on its borrowing authority.” Oh, how I wish it were the final days of when Chris Collins will be in Washington, as he shutsdown and packsup his topline office.

    Sorry. Grading papers.

  5. UncleBluck October 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    That my friends is what we call taking talking points supplied by the Heritage Foundation or some other conservative think tank and inserting your name and maybe a few other relevant words (ie Bedenko) and then trying to pass it off as doing ones job. Nice try Chris. Try to remember you won your last election in a gerrymandered district by THE SKIN OF YOUR TEETH. That way when you LOSE AGAIN next year you can look back and realize that the last few weeks were a DEFINING moment in the total collapse of the national Republican party…..and any chance of continuing as a local elected official

    • Marc Rebmann October 23, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

      NY’s Congressional districts were drawn by a judge, they (for once?) weren’t gerrymandered this time around. Collins barely won against a well funded incumbent during a presidential election, but he’ll probably cruise to re-election from here on out in the most republican district in the state.

      Collins letter is kind of funny. If he wants to weasel out of responsability on the technicality of voting for 4 continuing resolutions for the whole government, and 16 for parts of it (which i know at least some, and I suspect all had poison pills in them, something he conveniently leaves out) he could at least be honest about it and blame the Senate for tabling all of those bills. Obama never took any action on any of those, as they never reached his desk.

  6. Marquil October 24, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    When you get a chance Alan, could you pick this astonishing document apart and feed it to snopes to get a full count of how many inaccuracies, misrepresentations, evasions and outright lies it contains? I lost count halfway through.

  7. rhmaccallum October 24, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    Kudos to Chris Collins! Nobody, and I mean nobody can do a better asshole impression.

  8. PeterJRobbins October 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    I received this same BS email. Anyone want to do something about this? Maybe start here?

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