Democratic Senator Chris Coons from Delaware, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Friday that the government shutdown is hurting America’s image abroad.
“I've heard from foreign leaders and from foreign ambassadors that this really undermines our ability to be the world's model of democracy when our Congress and our government gets shut down over a very simple, short continuing resolution,” Coons said on Andrea Mitchell Reports.
President Obama has canceled a trip to Asia to meet with world leaders due to the shutdown. On the heels of the U.N. General Assembly, leaders have been engaged in diplomatic negotiations over securing Syria’s chemical arms and Iran’s nuclear energy facilities. Coons said the president was “missing an opportunity to sit down with world leaders” at this pressing time.
“We're preventing our president and we're preventing our diplomats from engaging with the rest of the world,” Coons said. “We heard on the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday how the folks who are responsible for implementing sanctions on Iran are in part on furlough and how that is putting our nation at greater risk.”
Coons placed blame on “the reckless and irresponsible actions of just a few members of the Senate and the House.”
He told Mitchell that if Speaker of the House John Boehner would allow a six-week continuing resolution to come to the floor, it “would quickly be passed by members of the House.”