Cornyn: Obama, Democrats Playing Politics with Shutdown

Saturday, 05 Oct 2013 10:12 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Republicans want to end the government shutdown, Texas Sen. John Cornyn said in Saturday's GOP address, but President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats refuse to debate an issue that is no long about anything more than "politics, plain and simple."

"The Democrats have calculated that by prolonging the shutdown, and maximizing the pain, they can bully Republicans into doing whatever President Obama and Majority Leader [Harry] Reid want them to do," said Cornyn. "It’s a very cynical game, but Democrats have decided to play it."

As a result, he said, the "Obama-Reid shutdown is no longer about health care, or spending, or ideology. It’s about politics, plain and simple."

Cornyn pointed out that like most Americans, he's deeply disappointed when some parts of the federal government were shuttered because Senate Democrats refused to make any changes to Obamacare.

“House Republicans have repeatedly sent over legislation that would fund federal operations, but Senate Democrats have rejected each and every bill," Cornyn said. "They’re effectively arguing that the House bills are simply illegitimate, because they contain policy measures that the Democrats don’t like."

Normally, parties would compromise and a bipartisan solution would be reached, but Democrats refuse to negotiate on points including a one-year delay for Obamacare's mandate for individuals and families; a bill forcing Congress to obey the same healthcare laws as other Americans; and Obamacare's so-called "pacemaker tax."

“Meanwhile, President Obama has threatened to veto a series of individual House bills that would fund our veterans’ programs, and our military-reserve programs, as well as the National Institutes of Health, and the D.C. city government," said Cornyn.

"He’s also threatened to veto a bill that would keep open our war memorials, our national parks, and museums. When Republicans asked Senate Democrats to join with us and pass these bills, they simply said no."

Related Stories:

McConnell: Closing DC Monuments During Shutdown 'Absurd'

Obama Calls on GOP to End 'Heartbreaking' Shutdown

Boehner: 'This Is Not Some Damn Game'

Obama, in his own weekly address, ratcheted up the pressure on Republicans, describing the toll the shutdown was having on several people who had either lost access to government services or been temporarily displaced from their jobs.

The White House has also said they were winning the battle, and it "doesn't really matter how long the shutdown lasts" because the Obama administration thinks a shutdown is "good politics," said Cornyn.

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