Kind: Shutdown deal ‘is no reason to take a victory lap’

2013-10-20T09:00:00Z Kind: Shutdown deal ‘is no reason to take a victory lap’BY PATRICK B. ANDERSON | LEE NEWSPAPERS Chippewa Herald
October 20, 2013 9:00 am  • 

LA CROSSE – Mike Jawson was told to follow the news to find out if he’d be going back to work.

Returning to his offices Thursday at the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center was exciting, Jawson said, but it also means getting up to speed after weeks of being shut down.

“It was very uncomfortable, wanting to work,” said the Center director. “Wondering how you are going to make up for it.”

Jawson and other center workers met with U.S. Rep. Ron Kind during the congressman’s homecoming after weeks of trying to broker a deal to end the government shutdown. He held a similiar meeting in Altoona on Friday.

“It was like pushing a boulder uphill, into a headwind,” Kind said of the agreement at the La Crosse meeting.

Democrats conceded little in the showdown, but the agreement only delays another tough budget conversation for a few months, said Kind, whose Third Congressional District covers the southern third of Chippewa County.

Local legislators were split on the vote.

Like Kind, Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin voted for the measure. “Now is the time for both parties to work together to pass a responsible budget that invests in the middle class, strengthens our economy and reduces the deficit without shortchanging our future. The middle class families and small businesses that are working so hard to move our economic recovery  forward deserve to have both parties in Washington working together to create jobs and grow our economy,” she said.

Her Republican counterpart from Wisconsin was not pleased the measure passed.

“America and its future generations suffered a loss (Wednesday),” said U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson. “President Obama and (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid may claim a legislative victory, but they have proven, once again, they are more than willing to increase the debt burden on our children and grandchildren. They are willing to do it without enacting any fiscal discipline or reforms to address America’s long-term debt and deficit problem. I am not, so I voted no to this fiscally irresponsible legislation.”

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Weston), whose Seventh Congressional District covers the northern two-thirds of Chippewa County, joined Johnson in voting against the fiscal measure.

“Raising the debt ceiling does not solve the fundamental problem that our federal government spends more money than it takes in. That is why I conditioned my vote to raise the debt ceiling on the inclusion of reforms to address our spending, specifically our ballooning entitlement spending, including the latest entitlement – Obamacare. That’s the responsible, common sense thing to do. Since the bill being voted on (Wednesday) does none of these things, I cannot support it.”

Early on in shutdown talks, Republicans sought to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act.

Both parties reached a “last- minute” agreement to increase the nation’s debt ceiling as the country risked defaulting on its loans, Kind said.

“We were playing with fire,” Kind said. “And that’s something we shouldn’t be messing with.”

The final deal included a small measure to provide more oversight when people apply for insurance through the nation’s new health insurance marketplace. The measure won’t require much more than what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was doing anyway, Kind said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who focused on Obamacare during the shutdown, likely caught heat from his own party, Kind said.

“Everyone was ganging up on Sen. Cruz,” Kind said. “I’m sure he heard from his colleagues.”

Kind called the 16-day shutdown an “embarrassing episode.” He apologized to USGS workers, who, like all federal workers, will receive pay for the time they missed while furloughed, thanks to a back-pay measure passed by Congress mid-shutdown.

“Congress has to stop using you as a pawn,” Kind said. “It’s not fair to you.”

The shutdown delayed much of the center’s research on invasive species such as Asian carp, and prevented workers from collecting samples when they were supposed to collect samples, Jawson said. Some of the work that could have been done in the past few weeks might now have to wait for spring because of the weather.

“It puts everything behind schedule,” Jawson said.

The shutdown-ending agreement reached Wednesday will allow the nation to continue borrowing until January. A long-term solution will be hard to come by, but any real consensus will have to begin with moderate lawmakers, working together from the center out, Kind said.

He pointed out that 144 Republicans in House still voted “no” on the agreement.

“The agreement last night is no reason to take a victory lap,” Kind said.

Kind’s last message to a group of USGS workers drew a round of applause.

“Get back to work,” Kind said.

Copyright 2015 Chippewa Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(3) Comments

  1. Merlin
    Report Abuse
    Merlin - October 21, 2013 10:56 am
    The shutdown and hitting the debt ceiling SHOULD have opened the eyes of people out there that government spending is out of control.

    The part that should have struck home is that for every $1 the government spends, $.40 is BORROWED in order to continue the Obama and left policies of vote buying.

    Not increasing the debt ceiling would mean people would have to learn to live without - and as we learned with the shutdown, there is an awful lot that the government can live without - and we can as well.

    The Democrats refused to negotiate and Reid blocked bills without even reading them. Obama did not lead and did not negotiate - we cannot continue to borrow money and never pay it back. It doesn't matter who is in charge, this is NOT sustainable. If you took all of the money the "evil rich" have and left them with nothing - it wouldn't even dent the debt we have.

    Time to wake up people - will you be happy when everyone has nothing, including YOU?
  2. Sand-Blaster
    Report Abuse
    Sand-Blaster - October 20, 2013 11:08 am
    Vote him and ALL the incumbents OUT in their next election cycle!
    Kick them ALL to the curb.
    Throw them under the bus.
    FIRE them!
  3. Heavyweight275
    Report Abuse
    Heavyweight275 - October 20, 2013 9:30 am
    You noticed that Duffy and Johnson did not say anything about flushing 24 billion, of our money, down the toilet do to there shut down.
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