WASHINGTON DC (KDKA) — Frustration seems to be more common in Washington than the ability to reach a bipartisan deal across party lines.
Pennsylvania’s senior senator, a Democrat, knows who he blames.
“The Tea Party caused this shutdown, and if we allow it to continue, we’re going to have a Tea Party default and that’s not good for anyone,” says Sen. Bob Casey.
Sen. Casey says ultraconservatives in the House are so fixated on repealing or changing Obamacare that they are willing to risk the nation’s economic health.
“If they keep throwing out the ideas they’ve been talking about that will prevent the kind of consensus that I believe is already there throughout the country and here, Democrats, Republicans and Independents coming together, but the Tea Party insisting on, kind of, ideological demands,” Sen. Casey said.
Pennsylvania’s junior senator, Pat Toomey, says he disagrees with the tactics of his House colleagues.
“I never subscribed to the theory that we ought to make funding of the government contingent on defunding Obamacare or repealing Obamacare,” he said. “As much as I strongly oppose Obamacare, it never occurred to me that the President would sign a bill that would repeal what he thinks is his signature accomplishment. So, that was never a good strategy in my view.”
But Sen. Toomey says that President Obama and the Democrats bare a lot of responsibility, too.
“I think it was a big mistake for the President to refuse to negotiate, to insist in fact and to declare that he would not negotiate,” Sen. Toomey said.
With the clock ticking and no final resolution in sight, the frustration level is clearing rising, not just in Washington DC but with people all across the nation including here in Pittsburgh.
Stay with KDKA for more from Jon Delano’s visit to Washington DC.