Haslam unhappy with Washington brinksmanship that could lead to government shutdown

Haslam unhappy with Washington brinksmanship that could lead to government shutdown

September 30th, 2013 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is shown in this file photo.

Photo by Staff File Photo/Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says he isn't happy about the brinkmanship in Washington that could lead to what he calls an "arbitrary" and partial shutdown of federal government spending at midnight today.

"I don't think it's an appropriate action for the federal government to have gotten to this point," Haslam told reporters today. "I'm one of those who believes the federal government has to quit spending way more than it's bringing in. But this is not the way to do that.

"Just to have an arbitrary shutdown of government that's going to impact services in a non-discriminate way is not the right way to do it."

Haslam's comments came as the Republican-run U.S. House and Democratic President Barack Obama and the Democratic-led U.S. Senate continue to play chicken with the federal budget over House GOP efforts to delay the federal Affordable Care Act.

The governor said his administration is in the middle of discussions over the impact to federal spending in Tennessee if no agreement is struck before midnight.

"Some of our immediate concerns are like the things that are funded out of human services, like the SNAP [food stamp] program program and others."

The governor's comments came following the official opening of Nashville's new Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville.