Rep. Peter King of New York says there are signs that a deal incorporating the federal budget and raising the debt ceiling may be in the works.
"I'm hearing more and more — no specifics though — that opening the government and the debt ceiling can be brought together," King told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"The bad part of that is it means the government will stay shut a while longer. But, on the other hand, it could mean that all of this could be resolved sooner rather than later. That's what [House Speaker] John Boehner wants."
The Republican lawmaker said he is encouraged by several developments.
"One is there is talk coming from more and more behind-the-scenes sources, whoever they are. You're hearing it from media, you're hearing it from staff people that they do want to combine the debt ceiling with the government shutdown," King said.
That includes the Democrats, he added.
"A lot of people want to get this behind us, get it worked out. There has to be [a combination] and we're on much stronger ground on the debt ceiling . . . We can win," he said.
King believes Boehner should've taken a little bit of a tougher line so the government wouldn't have shut down in the first place.
"Having said that, John Boehner is an institutionalist and wants to get the government open as much as anyone," King said.
"He realizes he's the head of the Republican Party . . . [and] the speaker of the House and he really believes in the institution."
President Barack Obama, according to King, has an obligation — no matter how wrong he believes Republican lawmakers are — "to do all he possibly can to get this government open again. He shouldn't be campaigning, he shouldn't be focusing on the politics."
King said many possibilities raced through his mind when reports of a shooting at the Capitol emerged, along with an immediate lockdown.
"I thought it could have definitely been involved with the government shutdown, it could have been a disgruntled employee or a disgruntled citizen," he said.
"And then also, ever since 9/11 you have to think that it could be a terrorist attack, it could be tied into that. You have to always assume there's potential of that."
King criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who, when asked why the Senate wouldn't try to help "one child who has cancer" by approving a partial-spending bill, said, "Why would we want to do that?"
"I can't hear anything more troubling to me in the world, more distressing, to hear of a child with cancer. That has to be the worst, worst nightmare and for him to give a standard political answer when the question is about a kid suffering from cancer is terrible," King said.
"It shows how they are dug in partisan-wise and . . . it shows part of what John Boehner's up against."
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