Weekend Offers Risky Choice to US Lawmakers

Thursday, 03 Oct 2013 07:21 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Congressional lawmakers face risks whether they continue to work through the weekend to try to end the shutdown or head home to find out how voters feel about the impasse.

Neither the House nor Senate want to be seen as not working on the problem, even though neither chamber is passing any legislation that has a chance of being signed into law, Politico reported.

And House GOP leaders – who set in motion the shutdown by refusing to allow passage on any continuing resolution that funded Obamacare – could jeopardize party unity if they stick around this weekend to face down President Obama, Politico said.

But they also face pressure from rank-and-file members who want to go home to see their families and talk to constituents. Politico reported indications are the Senate will be in session over the weekend, though no votes are anticipated.

Still, there’s no obvious end in sight, as the government shutdown threatens to continue as the Oct. 17 debt default looms.

At a short news conference Thursday morning, reporters were allowed just three questions.

“First of all I think the speaker and I have both said that the Republican position is, we believe we should fund this government, but we also believe there should not be any special treatment for anyone,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said, Politico reported. “And that is why we believe the right solution to that is to provide for a delay of the individual mandate under the health care law.

 “And in the same vein, and perhaps with even more intensity, no way in the world should members of Congress get special treatment under that law either.”

Cantor later sent a letter to rank-and-file Republicans saying he is “confident that if we keep advancing common-sense solutions to the shutdown that Senate Democrats and President Obama will eventually agree to meaningful discussions that [will lead] us to ultimately resolve this impasse,” Politico reported.

More than a dozen House Republicans have called for Boehner to take up a clean funding resolution and delay budgetary fights until later in the fall.

One of the most recent is Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Rogers said he hopes there will be at least a “temporary CR to work through our differences.”

“I think that would be the adult way to approach it,” Rogers said.

Related Stories:

GOP Aides: Boehner Vows to Avert Federal Default

More Than 100 Lawmakers Go Without Shutdown Pay

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