U.S. Rep. David Price of Chapel Hill says he's frustrated with the federal government shutdown, because vote tallies show there are enough votes in the House of Representatives to end it. At least 20 Republicans have gone on record saying they'd vote for a measure to fund the government with no strings attached. That would be enough votes to pass when combined with votes from Democrats. But so far Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, hasn't arranged to have a vote on a spending bill without the condition of a delay of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
"I think we officially now would have enough to reopen the government. And there are lots more who said they never really intended to shut down the government" and might also vote in favor of the bill passed already by the Senate, Price said.
"Everybody knows we will be debating health care and the budget well into the future, but the notion that members here should be demanding a ransom just for keeping the lights on is what’s at issue," Price said.
Price said his district "has a huge stake in this." It includes many civilian employees of the military who live near Fort Bragg, as well as workers in the federal operations in the Triangle Research Park, and agricultural extension workers at others with federal paychecks at North Carolina State University.
On the question of compromise, Price said he agreed with President Obama when he said today in a speech that keeping the government running and paying bills were not matters for negotiation. "To put the full faith and credit of the United States on the bargaining table would not be responsible on his part," Price said.
— Renee Schoof, McClatchy Washington Bureau