Only Boehner can end 'ridiculous, pointless' shutdown and avoid debt ceiling disaster, Yarmuth says

10/03/2013 07:15 PM

The only way to end the “ridiculous, pointless effort” that has shut down the government, says Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, is for House Speaker John Boehner to let moderate Republicans and House Democrats vote on a budget measure without a provision to defund the Affordable Care Act.

“There’s only one way this impasse can be avoided, and that’s if Speaker Boehner decides that he can rely on Democratic votes combined with some Republican votes to both get the government functioning again and then also to avoid defaulting on our debts as a nation, which will happen in a couple of weeks if we don’t act,” Yarmuth said (1:00).

Yarmuth, of Louisville, also said it’s more likely now that Congress will negotiate over both funding the government and raising the debt ceiling simultaenously before the government runs out of money on or about Oct. 17.

But others, such as Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Northern Kentucky, have said they won’t vote to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts and/or reforms to Social Security and Medicare that will balance the budget in four years.

“There are probably 30-40 who will take that position,” Yarmuth said (3:00). “… Most economists say that if we do that — and we default — and don’t honor our debts, we will put this country back into recession. It will cost millions of jobs over the next year or two … If this becomes an ideological battle, then the country is in very, very serious trouble.”

Yarmuth started the interview by saying Republicans, such as Rep. Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green, are feeling more pressure as government services and parks in their district are affected by the shutdown of three days and counting. He said the House Republicans’ move Thursday to pass five separate mini-continuing resolutions to fund certain popular programs affected by the shutdown is a reaction to such pressure.

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