Jim Gerlach joins Charlie Dent, Pat Meehan, breaks with House Republicans

All three men represent parts of Berks County on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON - A third Republican member of Congress from Pennsylvania is breaking ranks and calling for the U.S. House to keep the federal government funded without provisions to scale back the sweeping 2010 health care law.

U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, who represents parts of Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties, said Wednesday that constituents he's heard from don't want the federal government shut down.

Wednesday was the second day of a partial shutdown over House Republican attempts to scale back President Barack Obama's signature health care law as the price to keep the federal government open and running.

"Re-opening the federal government absolutely does not mean shutting down efforts to repeal and replace a health care law that's driving premiums higher for too many families, cutting hours for too many workers and giving the federal government unprecedented control over medical choices for too many patients," Gerlach said.

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Charles Dent, who also represents part of Berks County and part of the Lehigh Valley, became the first Pennsylvania member of Congress to break party ranks by voting against Republican budget bills.

On Tuesday, Rep. Patrick Meehan, who represents a southern section of Berks, said it was time for the House to pass a short-term funding bill.

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