Entire Wash. delegation votes to reopen government

October 17, 2013 

— Washington is the largest state in which every member of Congress voted this week to reopen the government and expand the nation’s borrowing capacity.

There were more than 150 “no” votes among Republican members of Congress in Wednesday night’s voting, but the four GOP members in Washington state all supported the bill. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a GOP leader in the House, said in a statement that House Republicans remain united and will continue working to fix what she described as an “out-of-control government.”

She said the House GOP had tried to work to protect people from President Barack Obama’s health care law and tried to bring the nation’s debt under control. “Our government cannot work unless both parties talk and work together to find common ground and common sense solutions,” McMorris Rodgers said in a statement. “It’s my hope that today’s bill will be the start of serious negotiations and pragmatic solutions to provide fairness for all.”

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., said, "The Senate’s short-term plan was not the solution I would have written. While far from perfect, this deal is a temporary necessity to get the government up and running again."

House Republicans sparked the crisis on Oct. 1 when they refused to fund the government unless Obama agreed to defund or delay his health care law.

The government shutdown was soon overshadowed when House Republicans also refused to up the government’s borrowing authority so the U.S. could pay its bills, raising the specter of a catastrophic default.

Obama refused to budge, proclaiming repeatedly that he would not to pay a “ransom” in order to get Congress to pass routine legislation.

Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who represents southwestern Washington, expressed her skepticism this week of the House GOP negotiating strategy.

She said in a statement after Wednesday night’s vote that “it’s time to end the practice of governing by moving from crisis to crisis.”

“Congress must find a more effective way to fight wasteful spending and provide better health care solutions, and I look forward to working with both parties toward those goals,” she said.

The agreement gives the parties some time to negotiate a broader spending plan. The government will remain open through Jan. 15 and the deadline for default on debts is now Feb. 7.

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