The chairman of Trail Life USA, a group that formed after the Boy Scouts opened its membership to gay youth, explains his position.
If the House and Senate cannot come to an agreement on a temporary spending bill, there will be a partial government shutdown at midnight.
In the House bill, the spending measure is linked to delaying the Affordable Care Act. The Senate has already rejected that part of the bill.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican representing Tennessee’s 7th district, says House Republicans are only answering to their constituents.
“We hear from our constituents everyday,” Blackburn told Here & Now. “They want to make certain their government is working. They do not want Obamacare to go into place tomorrow. They are concerned about the cost, they’re concerned about the lack of fairness.”
MEGHNA CHAKRABARTI, HOST:
Well, you heard Ron talk about a lack of consensus amongst the House GOP. Earlier today, I spoke with Marsha Blackburn, Republican representative from Tennessee. And I asked her if she felt her fellow House Republicans were willing to make any kind of deal to avoid a government shutdown.
REPUBLICAN MARSHA BLACKBURN: Well, I think that what we've shown is we are the ones that are willing to work on this. And I have to tell you, we were so disappointed that they took the weekend off and did not stay and work on it with us. We've continued to invite the administration and the president to work with us, and we have been disappointed that they've declined that invitation.
The issues are serious. We hear from our constituents every day. They want to make certain that the government is working. They do not want to have Obamacare go into place tomorrow. They're concerned about the cost. They're concerned about the lack of fairness. And we understand they're coming back this afternoon, so we hope they come back and get right to work.
CHAKRABARTI: Now, Representative, this morning CNN released a poll that found that six in 10 Americans say they want Congress to approve a budget agreement and avoid a government shutdown. But at the same time, if the government shuts down, 46 percent of Americans would blame congressional Republicans. So are you willing to bear that blame?
BLACKBURN: The truth is, everybody involved in the process is going to share some blame. Republicans are in charge of one-half of one-third of the federal government. The Democrats are in charge of everything else. So actually, you know, they have more of an opportunity to get in there and present ideas, and they have more of a responsibility. They run more of the government.
It seems like, though, that the House is the one who continues to bring forward ideas and seeks to solve problems for programs that the American people don't want that are going to spend money that the American people do not have and don't want to have any more coming out of their paychecks.
CHAKRABARTI: Representative Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, thank you so much.
Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.