Tipton: Senate, Obama must negotiate now
The federal government shutdown over, it’s now up to the Senate and President Barack Obama to negotiate with House Republicans, said U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo.
Conceding he was “a bit battered and bruised” by the 16-day federal shutdown that came to an end Wednesday, Tipton said in a telephone interview that the Democrat-dominated Senate and Obama had refused to negotiate during a shutdown.
Now that federal employees are back to work, it’s time to put the promise of negotiations to the test, Tipton said.
The agreement that ended the shutdown will expire in January. Until then, the House will continue to pass legislation in hopes the Senate will take them up.
“I guarantee you we will have a series of bills flowing out and we will see if they are good to their word” in the Senate, Tipton said. “We’ve given them a temporary extension to see if they’re true to their word.”
The coming months will allow the focus to shift from the shutdown to the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, also called “Obamacare,” Tipton said.
Republicans surrendered on their calls for changes to the Affordable Care Act, from a yearlong delay in implementing the law to a demand that Congress and the administration be required to participate in exchanges, or online marketplaces. They also agreed to an increase in the debt ceiling until January.
The Republican-run House passed multiple measures that would have reopened various parts of the federal government, from national parks to benefits for wounded veterans.
“They’re all sitting on the doorstep of the Senate and yet there was no national clamor for the Senate to act,” Tipton said.
Among the plans being worked on by the House are plans that Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, said will balance the budget in eight years, Tipton said.
The shutdown, however “is not something anybody is going to jump up and down about,” Tipton said. “The ACA was not stopped” and the tourism industry of the Western Slope suffered, he said.
He and other Republicans are frustrated, Tipton said.
“We have the intellectual high ground in terms of real numbers and real impacts,” Tipton said. “Politically, this is where we are until 2016. All we heard was ‘No.’ ”