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Tennessee lawmakers on government shutdown

Graphic: MGN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Some of Tennessee's lawmakers and candidates for office are speaking out on the government shutdown. Here's what they have to say...

Tennessee Congressman Diane Black:

“Last night, the Democratic minority in the Senate shut down the government. That is not how Congress is supposed to work.

The voters elected a Republican President and Republican majorities in both houses of Congress to get things done. While the House has listened to the American people and passed numerous pieces of major legislation, the Senate has failed to follow suit, largely due to arcane Senate rules. It’s time to let the majority govern. It’s time for Mitch McConnell to scrap the Senate rules that give Chuck Schumer the power to stop the congressional agenda in its tracks.”

Senator Lamar Alexander:

"Tennesseans elected me to make the government work for taxpayers, not to shut it down. We are close to agreement on legislation to increase military spending, extend the children’s health insurance program, lower insurance rates for self-employed people...provide disaster relief and begin to deal with immigration issues. Democrats are voting to shut down the government; I’m voting to keep it open and solve problems. There is no excuse whatsoever for shutting down the government."

Tennessee Congressman Marsha Blackburn:

"I am so disappointed that Chuck Schumer and the Democrats in the Senate thought it was better to play political games than fund our military. Our men and women in uniform, who sacrifice so much for our safety, deserve more than this total disregard for their service.

Democrats have also shown they have no desire to protect our nation's borders and provide security for Americans. Bc they wouldn't come to the table for a simple compromise they have put the lives of our children and our seniors in danger. Shame on them for their selfish behavior They have let their constituents, and all Americans down."

Speaker of the House Beth Harwell:

"It's worth mentioning, your Tennessee government and legislature will be open for business as usual Monday. The General Assembly will be in session, proposing solutions to benefit all citizens."

Former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen:

“This shutdown is absurd, and it’s the direct result of the out-of-control partisanship that is killing our country. Congress needs to get back to basics, and there are few things more basic for our well-paid Congress to do than to pass a budget and keep our country’s doors open. You don’t shut down the government of the world’s leading democracy over disagreements about issues.

When Tennesseans get behind the wheel today, common sense tells them to make sure they’re keeping the car between the lines on the road. I believe most Tennesseans want this failure by Congress fixed now, before it does any more damage. I call on Tennessee’s representatives in Washington to find a bipartisan way to get our car back on the road.”

Congressman Steve Cohen:

“We need to open the government as soon as possible with an agreement that fully funds the Children’s Health Insurance Program and meets other important priorities, including extending the Federal Qualified Health Centers and community health centers. Congress should also stop trying to undermine Obamacare.

“Although I’m disappointed we didn’t reach an agreement today, the House is in session on Sunday and I will continue working to resolve these issues and get the government operating again.”


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