Republican Rep. Tom Petri said he thinks a government shutdown is unlikely, even as debate continues in Congress over a GOP proposal for enabling the government to pay its bills through next year.
Petri voted last week for a House bill that would avoid a partial government shutdown on Oct. 1 while simultaneously canceling funding for Democratic President Barack Obama's signature health care law. The legislation is now in the Senate, where Democrats plan to rewrite it to restore the money.
Petri is a longtime opponent of the health care law, but he stopped short Tuesday of saying that he would insist on defunding it.
Petri said the goal is not to shut down the government but to get a budget that reduces the deficit and strengthens the economy.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took the Senate floor in support of the House bill that funds the government until the end of the year, but takes away funding the president’s health care law. He is trying to delay Senate Democrats making changes to the bill, but if Congress doesn’t reach an agreement in seven days, the U.S. Government will face a partial shutdown.
“I intend to speak in support of defunding Obama Care until I am no longer able to stand,” said Cruz.
Congressman Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin, talked about the possible shutdown Tuesday morning in Madison.
Pocan spoke at the 75th annual Wisconsin Counties Association Conference at the Alliant Energy Center.
Pocan said he expects a resolution this weekend but it wouldn't involve the Affordable Care Act. He said tea party conservatives, like Cruz, are holding things up.
“I think ultimately the adults will come in to play and there are plenty of adults in both parties that will realize that we have to have a continuing resolution to keep the country going,” said Pocan. “I think right now, this is the period where the Tea Party gets to scream and holler a little bit, but that’s a relatively small number of folks that are holding us hostage. I think in the end, the adults will come to the table and we’ll get something that’ll pass and keep things moving.”
Pocan said if the shutdown happens, Americans would pay more in interest rates.
Another impasse could come next month over the debt ceiling.