With federal workers in danger of losing millions and government buildings about to shutter, the D.C. region could be affected the most if a shutdown goes into effect with Congress at a standstill over funding the government past midnight tonight.
Rep. Gerry Connolly’s Northern Virginia district is home to many of those federal workers, and the Virginia Democrat argued on Monday’s The Daily Rundown that Republicans should pass a clean CR to keep the government functioning and quit feuding over funding Obamacare as health insurance exchanges are set to go into effect Tuesday regardless of a government shutdown or not.
“I’m open to a reasonable dialogue, but I’m not open to having somebody put a gun at my head and being told ‘Take this or else.’ That’s what the Republicans have done,” said Connolly. “It’s like mass psychosis holding not just Democrats hostage, but the entire country hostage in the funding of the government.”
Connolly also pointed out that this shutdown could be much worse than previous ones in 1994 and 1995, since Congress hasn’t passed a single appropriations bill.
“One has to remember this shut down unlike the one 17 years ago will be comprehensive,” said Connolly. “This time it’s 100%.”
“A lot of this is playing to their base. There are reasonable voices within the Republican Caucus who understand how perilous this strategy can turn out to be,” the Democrat added.
“I’ve never been an advocate for a government shutdown, and quite frankly, never has our party,” said Cole.
“I think the calculations are pretty political on both sides, but [Democrats] are playing with high stakes too,” the Republican argues.
But the Republican said that if the Senate, as expected, sends back a clean CR, stripped of amendments the House passed late Saturday night to delay Obamacare implementation for one year and repeal a medical device tax, could be the best hope to pass in the Republican-controlled House to avoid a shutdown this evening.
“I think that’s actually a fair read,” said Cole.
Watch the full interviews with host Chuck Todd in the above clip.