WASHINGTON (KDKA) — In sure sign the government shutdown is over, the doors to the popular Air and Space Museum were back open again Thursday afternoon.
And Congressional offices that had been shuttered tight for 16 days were also open, and constituents were pleased.
“We’re coming from Massachusetts to get democracy back in action,” said one constituent.
That may be debatable since most senators and representatives have left town after voting overwhelmingly to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.
Congressmen Mike Doyle, Tim Murphy and Mike Kelly voted in favor, along with Sen. Bob Casey; but Sen. Pat Toomey with Congressman Keith Rothfus voted no.
“I was not happy with the package that came out,” said U.S. Rep. Rothfus. “I don’t think there was any compromise in it.”
Led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, some conservative Republicans wanted to shut down the government until Obamacare was defunded or changed. That never happened.
KDKA’s Jon Delano: “Do you think that Sen. Ted Cruz has been helpful or harmful to this process?”
Rep. Rothfus: “I’ll let the folks in Texas have that discussion with Ted Cruz. Right now, I’m concerned about, again, now that we’re back in business, let’s have a discussion about the debt that we’re facing and let’s take a hard look at the President’s health care law.”
Rep. Rothfus says he’s hopeful negotiations will start soon.
“We’ll take the President at his word, Sen. Reid at his word and have a robust negotiation about the direction the country is going in its spending,” said Rep. Rothfus.
Whatever optimism people have about the shutdown ending right now, the truth is it’s only temporary. The government will run out of money again by mid-January and the debt ceiling, it’ll be reached in February. The bottom line, we could go through this all over again.
It will take compromise by all sides to bring the parties together.
Delano: “Are you optimistic that we’re not going to be back here in January doing the same old story again.”
Rep. Rothfus: “I tend to be an optimist, so I’m going to be optimistic here.”