Republican governors, worried about the standing of their party with voters, warned GOP members of Congress this weekend against trying to shut down the government just to make their points about Obamacare.
"I have made the case that Obamacare is not good for the economy, but I have some real concerns about potentially doing something that would have a negative impact on the economy just for the short term," Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told The New York Times
at a weekend meeting of the National Governors Association in Milwaukee.
Walker was among governors who spoke to the Times about their differences with tea party and other conservative GOP members of Congress, who appear intent on forcing a confrontation with President Barack Obama over the budget, that could lead to a government shutdown.
Two of the party's top 2016 presidential prospects, Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, and about 10 Republican senators are warning to warn Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress that they will not support a budget
for fiscal 2014 unless it defunds or repeals Obamacare.
Their letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid essentially threatened a shutdown.
The threat is opposed by state executives, who depend on the federal government to keep many state-level programs operational. They worry, Walker said, about the potential disruption it could cause to state businesses and services, the Times notes.
"It would affect all of us," Walker said. "The worst part is the uncertainty. My great fear would be anything that provides great uncertainty for the employers of our country."
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple expressed concern about the political price Republicans could pay if their pushback against Obamacare results in a shutdown.
"I've never felt shutting down government function is a wise thing to do politically because I think, whoever is involved in it, it's the Congress, regardless of what party they're affiliated with, that will be blamed by the public," Dalrymple said. "And so, to me, I don't see what it accomplishes."
Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi, one of many Republican governors who has refused to participate in Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, questioned whether it is worth the risk to the party to continue its repeated efforts to try to repeal or defund the law through legislation or the threat of a government shutdown.
"How much blood are we going to leave on the floor over this?" he asked.
"Take the battle to the floor, debate it, do all that you can to get the bill passed because we believe in eliminating Obamacare completely. That's why we didn't expand it," Bryant said. "But at some point we have to realize that the federal government — because of the support of our military, support of our public safety, our infrastructure — we have to have a budget."
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