Oct. 10--Though a strong opponent of the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre said he would support a "clean" continuing budget bill that would not tie government funding to funding for the health care law known as Obamacare.
"We need to get the government reopened immediately, and then we can reopen the debate on any and all topics that may need to be debated," McIntyre said Thursday afternoon. "But the emphasis right now has to be on getting the government open again."
McIntyre, D-N.C., said he asked his constituents through an online poll, and more than 60 percent said he should support a clean continuing resolution.
"All indications are we would have the votes to reopen immediately if the speaker would let us proceed with a vote on a clean budget bill," said McIntyre, who noted he has met with top leaders about the government shutdown in recent days, including the president.
Facing a fresh deadline, House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that Republicans would vote to extend the government's ability to borrow money for six weeks -- but only if President Barack Obama first agrees to fresh negotiations on spending cuts. Under the Republican plan, the partial government shutdown would continue in the meantime.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that Obama "would likely sign" a clean bill increasing the debt cap but that the president also wants Republicans to reopen the government. He did not rule out Obama agreeing to Boehner's debt ceiling proposal if the government remains closed, but the White House made no promises that Obama would hold negotiations under those circumstances.
McIntyre, in a letter to the president and congressional leaders, encouraged negotiators to participate in a shut-in until an agreement is reached. In his letter, he recalls September 1978, when President Jimmy Carter convened a summit at Camp David between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
"Today, during a time of unprecedented partisan gridlock, we can all learn from history and forge a grand compromise once again," McIntyre wrote.
McIntyre said his offices, including the one locally in Leland, have remained open, and his staffers are answering emails and phone calls of constituents. Also, during the government shutdown, McIntyre has joined a number of his colleagues in refusing to accept pay.
U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., is coming under pressure to do the same. The left-leaning group called ProgressNC Action said in a press release Thursday that its members were visiting Jones' 3rd District to encourage him to "surrender his pay because Congress should feel at least some of the pain that they are inflicting on the rest of the nation," wrote Executive Director Gerrick Brenner.
Jones' office did not respond to a request for an interview Thursday.
But in an interview with MSNBC, Jones said he also would support a no-strings-attached continuing resolution to get the government running again.
"I wish we would pass a clean CR (continuing resolution)," Jones is quoted as saying. "People are beginning back home to feel it. It might be imaginary but they feel it."
According to the article, Jones supports a clean continuing resolution but does not support a clean debt-ceiling increase, another demand of Democrats.
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Original headline: Congressmen McIntyre, Jones support end to shutdown
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