In October of 2013, I wrote an op-ed for The Bee criticizing Rep. Jeff Denham for shutting down the government and playing partisan games. I wrote about the impact to our community and to our economy. I wrote that both parties don’t have to agree on everything, but at the end of the day they need to agree on something and work together to get the job done for the people they represent.
Here I am, two years later, writing almost exactly the same thing because nothing has changed.
Washington is still in chaos and heading towards another government shutdown. Jeff Denham is still there, governing crisis-to-crisis and putting politics ahead of people, instead of solving problems.
Meanwhile, here in the Central Valley we have real challenges. Extreme drought is forcing us to leave our fields fallow and sending unemployment rates to double the national average. While the rest of the country recovers from the Great Recession, 16 percent of the people in our district still live below the poverty line. Our kids go to schools that don’t have the resources they need to succeed – and if they’re able to make it to college, they’ll end up with a mountain of debt.
We need solutions, not a shutdown.
It’s not, unfortunately, just a government shutdown looming. There are other important deadlines and to-dos that are vital to American families, all with no resolution in sight.
For instance, where is our long-term transportation funding bill? In California, more than one in four of our bridges are labeled deficient and over half of our major roads are considered in poor condition.
As a member of the Transportation Committee, Jeff Denham has the ability and the duty to find a solution to rebuild our failing roads and bridges. It’s vital to our community’s safety, and it creates much-needed jobs. Instead, Jeff Denham just keeps kicking the can down the crumbling road. The most recent stop-gap measure Denham voted for will expire at the end of October.
Because of Denham’s lack of leadership, federal funding for our roads, bridges and highways is so uncertain that the state even proposed raising California taxes. Working families can’t afford that. Talk about passing the buck.
Jeff Denham was part of the problem in 2013 and he still is today. I’m running for Congress in 2016 because it’s high time we end Denham’s cycle of manufactured crises, gridlock and lack of leadership. Central Valley families deserve a representative in Congress who will make the government work for us, not shut down on us.
Michael Eggman is a candidate for the 10th Congressional District, which includes