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VOL. 11 | NO. 3 | Saturday, January 20, 2018

Local Reps in D.C. React to Shutdown Along Party Lines

By Bill Dries

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Reaction among Tennessee’s two U.S. Senators and the two Congressmen whose districts cover Shelby County to the federal government shutdown that began at midnight Saturday, Jan. 20, Washington D.C. time was divided along party lines.

Just before the shutdown, Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis Tweeted: “So unfortunate but no give by Repubs so no take. … Government by anarchy & incompetence. Very, very depressing.”

Republican U.S. Rep. David Kustoff of Germantown Tweeted Saturday morning: “Shameful that Democrats are putting politics over our national security. I voted for the CR (continuing resolution) because we must fund our military and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). I voted to keep the government open because West Tennesseans sent me to Washington to solve problems and I will continue to do just that.”

Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said in a written statement Saturday that such a shutdown should “never ever be a bargaining chip for any issue.”

“It should be to governing as chemical warfare is to real warfare,” he added as he accused Congressional Democrats of doing that. “The Democrats are closing down the government because they want a result on an important issue, and they want it now.”

He urged Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate to work out an agreement.

“Let’s go to work on the two-year budget agreement, the children’s health insurance program, on lowering the cost of health insurance for people buying insurance on the individual market, on the DACA bill and on disaster relief,” Alexander said in a statement on the Senate floor. “Let’s get that done in a very, short period of time.”

Tennessee’s other Republican Senator, Bob Corker, had not yet issued any statement on the shutdown by late Saturday afternoon. But Corker said just before the midnight shutdown that the Senate negotiations between Democrats and Republicans amounted to a debate over a continuing resolution of three days or four days to avert the shutdown.

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