Entire Washington congressional delegation votes to reopen government in rare unanimity
Peninsula Daily News
and The Associated Press
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There were more than 150 “no” votes among Republican members of Congress in Wednesday night’s voting, but the four GOP members in Washington state all supported the bill, along with the Democrats.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a GOP leader in the House who represents Eastern Washington, said in a statement that House Republicans remain united and will continue working to fix what she described as an “out-of-control government.”
She said the House GOP had tried to work to protect people from President Barack Obama’s health care law and tried to bring the nation’s debt under control.
“Our government cannot work unless both parties talk and work together to find common ground and common-sense solutions,” McMorris Rodgers said in a statement.
“It’s my hope that today’s bill will be the start of serious negotiations and pragmatic solutions to provide fairness for all.”
Rep. Derek Kilmer, a Democrat from Gig Harbor, who had distanced himself from Congress during the shutdown, said Thursday there’s still much to do.
“The good news is we made it out of surgery. The bad news is we’re still really sick. There’s a lot we need to do to get healthy again,” said Kilmer, who represents the 6th Congressional District, which includes the North Olympic Peninsula.
“First, Congress needs to pass a commonsense budget that deals with our long-term fiscal health,” he said.
“ Second, Congress needs to focus on jobs and getting the American people back to work.
“And third, Congress needs to get back to work too and stop the partisan games.”
House Republicans sparked the crisis Oct. 1 when they refused to fund the government unless Obama agreed to defund or delay his health care law.
The government shutdown was soon overshadowed when House Republicans also refused to up the government’s borrowing authority so the U.S. could pay its bills, raising the specter of a catastrophic default.
Obama refused to budge, proclaiming repeatedly that he would not to pay a “ransom” in order to get Congress to pass routine legislation.
Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who represents Southwest Washington, expressed her skepticism this week of the House GOP negotiating strategy.
She said in a statement after Wednesday night’s vote that “it’s time to end the practice of governing by moving from crisis to crisis.”
“Congress must find a more effective way to fight wasteful spending and provide better health care solutions, and I look forward to working with both parties toward those goals,” she said.
The agreement gives the parties some time to negotiate a broader spending plan.
The government will remain open through Jan. 15, and the deadline for default on debts is now Feb. 7.
Last modified: October 17. 2013 7:03PM