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Lawmakers Weigh In On Government Shutdown

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By Brittany Cooper

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) 16 days. That's how long the partial government shutdown lasted, dividing lawmakers, keeping hundreds of thousands of federal workers at home. Two Idaho lawmakers voted against the Senate bill to end the shutdown. The bill however passed 81 to 18.

"I know you're frustrated by what you see in your nation's capital right now. But because it's easy to get lost in or give up on the political back–and–forth, I want you to remember: this is not normal. Our government is closed for the first time in 17 years. A political party is risking default for the first time since the 1700s. This is not normal," exclaims President Obama.

President Obama uttered these words during his weekly address on October 12th, during week two of the political standoff. U.S. Senator Jim Risch weighs in.

In a statement he writes, "sadly this deal kicks the can down the road for three months and I could not support it. The federal government continues to borrow too much, spend too much, and intrude into the lives of Americans too much. I hope the president and my democrat colleagues will offer serious proposals to find a solution instead of turning this situation into another crisis in January."

Senator Risch was one of 18 Senate Republicans who voted against the deal to re–open the government and extend the debt ceiling.

He adds, "the United States faces serious long–term debt and spending challenges that we must confront now."

We spoke to area lawmakers including Representatives Maxine Bell and Clark Kauffman regarding the ordeal.

Bell asks, "why would you close a park, why would you shut down a needed service just to prove a point? Let's do what we need to do, to get a economy back on track and then let's take a look at what we're overspending. We're obviously not overspending to keep a park open."

"They need to come to a consensus in the middle to benefit the American people," Rep. Clark Kauffman, District 23B.

Negotiations for a permanent budget solution are already underway.
President Barack Obama will fund the government through January 15th 2014 and lift the debt ceiling until February 7th.


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