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Moderate Republican Blames Both Parties For Shutdown

This article is more than 9 years old.
Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, is pictured in 2006. (Jamie-Andrea Yanak/AP)
Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, is pictured in 2006. (Jamie-Andrea Yanak/AP)

Members of Congress continue to blame the other party for the government shutdown — now in its eighth day — and accuse each other of not holding votes to end the standoff.

House Republicans have no plans this week to take up a bill to raise the government's ability to borrow money, before the U.S. hits the debt ceiling on Oct. 17.

And it's not clear when Senate Democrats will hold votes on raising the debt ceiling or approving back pay for furloughed federal workers.

Former Ohio congressman Steven LaTourette, a moderate Republican, criticizes both parties for their intransigence.

He tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson that Democrats have to give some ground so that House Speaker John Boehner would be willing to risk his speakership by putting a bill up for a vote, even if not all Republicans are on board with it.

Interview Highlights

The two sides need to come together

“For 60 years, presidents and Congresses have negotiated as they have approached the debt ceiling. It started with Dwight Eisenhower. It’s the first time that I can recall that we haven’t had a negotiation. And everybody is going to have to give just a little bit. Now, I know John Boehner well. I’m from Ohio, served with him for 18 years in the House. He’s not going to let the federal government default. But there comes a time when it’s not about winning, winning, winning; it’s about ‘how do we get out of this mess?’ Senator Cruz did not have a plan B, which is just ridiculous—to make this big fuss and then you don’t have an exit strategy. And it is now up to Speaker Boehner and the president, Senator Reid to come up with one.”

There will be no 'clean' continuing resolution

“The other ridiculous thing that’s going on is the president and Senator Reid running around sort of daring Boehner to put a clean continuing resolution on the floor. That’s not going to happen and that’s not the way out of this problem. The way out of this problem is for them to come up with something that convinces the speaker that things are moving in the right direction so he risks his speakership by putting a bill on the floor that doesn’t have all his troops on board.”

Would Boehner lose his speakership if he did that?

“I think, you know, if you look at opening day of this Congress, you had a guy with a laptop for crying out loud, sitting on the House floor with a whip count, trying to encourage people not to vote for him for speaker. There will be a group of people that will call for his scalp. It remains to be seen whether or not the vast majority of Republicans are going to be lemmings in that regard and jump off the cliff with him, or whether they will stick with the speaker.”


This segment aired on October 8, 2013.


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