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Top Dem: GOP thinks it's 'reasonable' to bring country to its knees

Both parties must sit around a table and talk to reach a deal that will end the current government closure, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said.
Steny Hoyer
(L-R) U.S. House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) speaks as House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Assistant House Minority Leader Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) listen during a news conference September 25, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer blasted Republicans for forcing the government into a shutdown on Monday’s Morning Joe.

“You have a lot of Republicans now who believe this is a reasonable policy, they can bring the country to their knees, and get what they want,” he said.

He noted that there are some Republicans in the House who think what is being done is “irrational.” But he said those individuals are looking over their shoulder at Tea Party primary challengers.

“This was a tactic to do something that they knew they couldn’t do, and that is defund Obamacare,” he said.

Leaders of both parties need a short-term bridge, six to 10 weeks, to discuss possible resolutions to the current government closure, he said. But Republicans have objected to that so far.

“We’re not doing very well,” he said, “because we’re playing chicken with the credit and the reputation of the United States of America.”

Watch more on Morning Joe.