October 2nd, 2013
08:43 AM ET
8 years ago

GOP congressman: Let's tackle shutdown, debt ceiling at same time

(CNN) – Congress could kill two birds with one stone by ending the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling all at once, a Republican congressman from New York said Wednesday.

"There is a strong possibility, if [Senate Democrats] were willing to sit down and listen to us, that we would put a package together and solve the problems at once: stop the government shutdown and deal with the debt ceiling," Rep. Michael Grimm said on CNN's "New Day."

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The federal government enters Day Two of its shutdown after the Republican-led House tried but failed to pass a piecemeal funding plan Tuesday night to pay for the District of Columbia, veterans affairs and national parks.

Even though it fell short of the required two-thirds vote, it would have had no future in the Democratic-led Senate anyway, and the White House had already promised a veto.

At issue is a strategy led by a group of about 30-40 conservative House Republicans who've been trying to chisel away at the federal health care law by tying it to the short-term funding bill, known as a continuing resolution.

“Within my own conference, obviously everyone knows, we have a far right faction that we have to deal with and we have to unify,” Rep. Grimm said. “So that’s one challenge for the Republican Party.”

But Senate Democrats aren't budging and refuse to accept any bill that both funds the government and tries to hurt Obamacare.

Also on the horizon is the October 17 deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling or else the government goes into default. While many predict a fierce battle between Congress and the White House, Grimm said he hopes Washington can avoid dragging the country through another fiscal crisis marked by partisan standoffs.

"Let me be clear, there are some that would absolutely deal with it the same way," Grimm told CNN's Chris Cuomo. "I think there are enough of us, though, that understand we cannot fool around with the full faith and credit of the United States."

A new CNN/ORC International survey indicates that a majority of the public would point fingers at Republicans in Congress if the nation's ability to borrow more money is not increased.

Underlining a sense of urgency, the two-term congressman added: "Why not deal with it right now? Let's get everything done and finished."

Grimm is part of a small group of House Republicans that's been trying to get GOP leadership to pass a "clean" continuing resolution that funds the government but excludes anti-Obamacare provisions. They say they can work on changing Obamacare separately, a compromise some Senate Democrats have said they'd be willing to accept.

The number two House Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, said Wednesday he's been talking to members like Grimm who want to move forward with a clean bill.

"It appears that we may be getting to a place where there are gonna be enough rational Republicans to join with the Democrats and pass...a continuing resolution," Hoyer told CNN's Kate Bolduan on "New Day."

While some 800,000 so-called nonessential federal workers are being furloughed, Grimm said "there's no such thing as a 'nonessential employee'."

"We need to put our country first and take care of those that have been taking care of us," he said. "I want to say to all those people–you are essential to me. If anyone is not essential, it's the U.S. Congress."

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Government Shutdown • Michael Grimm
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "How many times is the GOP leadership going to let Boehner and company misread "national" polls before its leadership finally understand the true meaning of the will of the people? "

    I know this isn't a number for "how many times," but the answer is "forever." As noted conservative Norman Ornstein from the American Enterprise Institute, the famous conservative think tank, recently observed about the current state of the GOP in an article entitled "Let's Just Say It: Republicans Are the Problem"...

    "The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; UNMOVED BY CONVENTIONAL UNDERSTANDING OF FACTS, EVIDENCE AND SCIENCE; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges."

    October 2, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. much thunder..little rain

    i heard one reporter say most federal workers in washington acted like it was madi gra and when out to party ...

    October 2, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    "if [Senate Democrats] were willing to sit down and listen to us"

    Teatroll Rosetta Stone says: "If Dems would just cave to our threats and ultimatums and do what we tell them to do, then we wouldn't have to shoot the hostage."
    Correct. They are acting like domestic terrorists.

    October 2, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Rudy NYC


    Yes, make a budget, increase the debt limit but make sure there is a time-line for a balanced budget in writing! Or it won't happen
    You should look before you leap.

    Back when Republicans took control of the House and Congress during the Clinton administration, one of their first acts was to abandon any and all pending legislation that the Democrats had been working on towards a Balanced Budget Amendment. The hypocrisy of the far right simply knows no bounds.

    October 2, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. S.B. Stein

    There can be one bill to do that. I just don't think that is going to happen without a lot of bits and pieces here and there that many people won't swallow. I think that a clear CR needs to be done first. Attaching things that cut "Obamacare" funding is silly because it is a part of many mandatory funding programs. As for the debt limit, that should have some cuts but to programs that Republicans like and some to programs Democrats like.

    There wouldn't be a need for the social welfare programs run by the government if the top 2% to 3% were funding non-profits that did these jobs like SNAP and Medicaid do currently. We are free to do most of what we want but need to be responsible for each other. As the expression goes, no man is an island.

    October 2, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. tom l

    Moderates always call the other side "domestic terrorists". So very moderate. LOL

    October 2, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Anonymous

    The tea party/GOP clearly shown to be a danger for democracy in general and specially for the survival of the America in the 21st century. How long it can be endured is a big question facing the nation

    October 2, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. Wake up People!

    While this is VERY serious, I must say I'm tickled pink after going to different news sites and reading others opinions. The GOP and FOX noise have spent the past 5 years trying to tear President Obama down. They have called him every name in the book. Every week there is a new talking point, he's weak, he's soft, he's not a real leader, he's a wimp, he's leading from behind blah, blah, blah. But FINALLY people are waking up to the lies.

    The truth IS, President Obama is a GREAT leader. He foils the terroristic GOP at every turn. Weak? That describes John Boehner to a T. He is SOH and he lets a minority of radicals attempt to run this country into the ground. HE should be impeached.

    I love it when President Obama shows you idiots exactly why he wears baggy pants. Big ones, huge ones!!

    Keep up the excellent work Mr. President, REAL Americans are with you!

    October 2, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. sonny chapman

    The Root of all this Evil is : GERRYMANDERING. The unbridled urge to make "Safe" Congressional Districts, by Repubs., for now, in Red States is creating Two Americas at war w/each other.

    October 2, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Moderates always call the other side "domestic terrorists". So very moderate
    Moderates have no problem speaking the truth unlike others on this thread...tom l.

    October 2, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Did you see my poor representative Scott Rigell on Rachel and on Fox pleading for a clean C.R.? Scottie ole boy, you should've been yelling for that from the top of your lungs before we got to this point. Clearly you don't know your constituency. FYI, you've got a huge constituency of military and government employees and less fortunate people in your district.

    October 2, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. sonny chapman

    P.S.- The cause of all this Repub. insanity is FEAR. Their constituents are marginally educated & fearful of a world that is rapidly changing & put right in their laps as catastrophes via Fox News. They are being "led" by ideologues, usually young & lacking much real life experiences, who are happy to be leading the Parade. The Solution: Rationanlity, just as the Greek philosophers preached centuries ago.

    October 2, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    He wants to tackle both issues at the same time to try and extort us some more. These republicans are domestic extortionists/terrorists. We will not meet their demands and if they intend on killing the hostage, they should be branded as traitors.

    October 2, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. Sniffit

    " like how you deflect my point and decide to go into another tangent."

    Not really, altho I admittedly was being vague and facetious. My counterpoint was rather simple;

    We have a plan in place that experts say will result in millions of people getting insurance and having access to health care who otherwise would not and that will

    The GOP/Teatrolls demagogue it and vow to get rid of it at all costs, even doing things like issuing ultimatums of "defund it or we'll allow the gov't to shut down/or we'll allow the nation to default on its debts," and take oaths to never ever do anything whatsoever that would constitute participating in a fix or tweak or making it better to address any problems.

    THEY HAVE NO PLANS WHATSOEVER FOR REPLACING IT, have set forth nothing coherent or comprehensive that constitutes a "plan" that would replace it and would achieve similar or better results.

    Therefore, the result of the GOP/Teatrolls achieving their goals would be that millions of people are left uninsured.

    As a result, what Obama said, that keeping people uninsured is a centerpiece of the GOP/Teatrolls agenda, isa pure statement of fact. That it infuriates people who recognize it as such does not make it a "plea to emotion." That it infuriates you and others who wish it wasn't true does make it fun to say though.

    October 2, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Rudy NYC


    Oh, tom I, ya big silly. What's the GOP/Teatrolls' plan for insuring 48M people and making even the most basic of health care services available to all after they repeal/defund/destroy the ACA, which is widely predicted by experts to insure millions and reduce health care costs and was based in part on the GOP's own ideas? Please, do tell.
    Actually, the Republican Party has a plan. It is posted on Rep. Boehner's offical house dot gov site, dated Jul 27, 2009. The problem is that the Republican Party has been assimillated into the Tea Party, and it is the Tea Party that has no plan.

    The Tea Party would eviscerate the Republican "Health Care Reform Plan" that is posted on Boehner's site, because of all of the Medicare giveaways, and the abundant tax credits and deductions for low income earners. It's basically a single payer system for anyone below a certain income.

    October 2, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Dominican mama

    Speaking of which, I am sorry I was unable to respond to your comment to me yesterday. I did try several times!

    October 2, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. rs

    Anyways, I know you'll deflect and tell me how bad the ideas are, that the repubs are evil, that they only want white people to have healthcare and how they want all grandmas to die. Do you see how ridiculous that sounds? Who would WANT that? Nobody. It's demogoguery at its finest.
    In the absense of ANY evidence to the counter, if the GOP support the pre-ACA status quo, that pretty mich IS what they support. It is the GOP's typical head-in-the sand response to problems when real-live people are involved. Well, that and their patented "blame the victim". Why else would they take $40 billion from feeding the poor, while giving scam artists like Bachmann her precious quater million dollar "agricultural" subsidy?

    Sorry, the GOP has forced many to actually believe the worst about the GOP- simply because that is who they are and what they do.

    October 2, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Grimm is part of a small group of House Republicans that's been trying to get GOP leadership to pass a "clean" continuing resolution
    We're on board with a clean CR.
    It is quite baffling that these congress men that love to spew about the Founding Fathers and try to pass themselves off as knowledgable constitutionalists abhor the idea of going through the NORMAL channels of government to implement whatever changes they seek in the ACA.
    Oh but wait.....they don't seek to improve the ACA they just want to defund it, derail it or destroy it.
    Never mind.
    Domestic terrorists indeed, and pseudo-patriots to boot.

    October 2, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. Gunderson

    Um, Well,
    We know MY WAY OR HIIGHWAY NOT WORKING. We know Tea Party is demanding Fiscal Responsibility now! We know Liberal's laugh about raising National Debt. Spend, spend, Spend! We know Obama Care killing jobs Big time. We know peasant's still running asylum. What more you need know? Soon you also know how 1930's were. Old Gunderson a strong proponent of Education. You learn good, no?

    October 2, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Lynda Minnesota
    No problem glad they posted it and you got a chance to read it,
    I am being moderated into oblivion myself.
    It stands to reason that the status quo must be maintained: while people suffer from the government shutdown the media must keep us tethered and clicking by feeding us red meat.
    Feel good stories don't make money, neither do feel good posts my friend...but you know that!

    October 2, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. Hector Slagg

    All you folks that demand the Republician's do something. How about you doing something! There's the door. Hit it and don't let it hit you in the *** on the way out.

    October 2, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. demogoat

    GOP members that fear a primary challenge need to realize the Tea party is having a hard time finding qualified people to run in these districts. All they have is money to spend and lies to sear them with. Every one knows that the ACA needs fixing. SS and medicare needs fixing. Spending needs to be reduced. I think if this keeps up, being a RINO will become vogue.

    October 2, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  23. rs


    Um, Well,
    We know MY WAY OR HIIGHWAY NOT WORKING. We know Tea Party is demanding Fiscal Responsibility now!
    Yeah, right! The GOP "plan" is costing the taxpayer $300 million a day, and has tossed 800,000 federal employees into unemployment, and countless more in the private sector whose jobs are tied to Defense, National Parks, and more.
    Be a good boy and take your drugs, you're not making any sense at all.

    October 2, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. Sniffit

    "Actually, the Republican Party has a plan. It is posted on Rep. Boehner's offical house dot gov site, dated Jul 27, 2009. The problem is that the Republican Party has been assimillated into the Tea Party, and it is the Tea Party that has no plan. "

    The GOP/Teatrolls have abandoned anything that might even remotely be considered a "plan" and Boehner's blather you're referring to is 3 years old, dead and buried. Moreover, that "plan" he posted is really nothing more than a collection of a vagaries, policy positions, platitudes, nice-sounding goals and seller's talk, not a concrete, detailed, moving-parts plan that attempts to describe the organization of a functional system. Heck, they've all even abandoned the rhetoric of "repeal AND REPLACE." The GOP/Teatrolls have no plan other than "Kill the Bill and Destroy Its Maker."

    October 2, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    We know Obama Care killing jobs Big time. We know peasant's still running asylum. What more you need know? Soon you also know how 1930's were. Old Gunderson a strong proponent of Education.
    Old Gunderson should avail himself of some education....and we also know that Old Gunderson is an old liar.

    October 2, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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