published Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Tennessee GOP congresswoman, state Democratic chairman trade barbs over shutdown

NASHVILLE — U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., today blamed President Barack Obama and his Democratic congressional allies for today’s partial federal government shutdown and predicted the standoff will have little effect.

“I think you may see a partial shutdown for several days,” Blackburn said earlier today during an appearance on Fox & Friends. “But people are probably going to realize that they can live with a lot less government then what they thought they needed.”

Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Roy Herron later fired back at Blackburn and her fellow congressional Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.

“Congressional Republicans are cutting off the pay of almost a million U.S. workers, but continue to pay the least productive, most wasteful, least efficient and highly paid federal workers — themselves,” Herron said in a news release. “Because congressional Republicans refuse to do their work, federal workers cannot do our work.”

During her Fox appearance, accused Obama and Democrats of refusing to negotiate.

“They wanted a government shutdown,” Blackburn said. “They feel it gives them a political advantage. And we continue to say will you please work with us because the American people didn’t want a shutdown. They don’t want Obamacare.”

She acknowledged the fight over a measure temporarily funding government operations, which Republicans first sought to use to defund the federal Affordable Care Act or Obamacare and then to delay a mandate on personal coverage, is likely to get tangled up with the looming debate over increasing the federal debt ceiling. The administration says an increase is needed by Oct. 17.

Meanwhile, a just-released poll by Quinnipiac University says American voters overwhelmingly oppose by a 72-22 percent margin shutting down the federal government to block Obamacare. They also opposed by a 64-27 margin using the debt ceiling issue to stop Obamacare, the national poll of 1,497 voters found. The poll has a 2.5 percent margin of error.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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