Donnelly praises Senate compromise proposal to end impasse
BY TERESA AUCH SCHULTZ email@example.com October 16, 2013 2:32PM
Updated: October 16, 2013 11:33PM
U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly said he supports a bill proposed Tuesday by leaders of the U.S. Senate to end the federal shutdown and avoid a default on the country’s debts and expects it will be approved.
As to whether the bill, which creates a new deadline of Jan. 14 before another government shutdown, is just punting the problems to a later date, Donnelly said there are no guarantees but that he doesn’t expect a second shutdown.
“Boy, I sure hope not,” Donnelly said during a telephone conference with reporters Tuesday afternoon.
Donnelly worked with a group of 13 other senators, including five Democrats, one independent and seven Republicans, during the past few weeks to reach a compromise bill to end the shutdown that is just starting its third week and to avoid a government default. Although the bill was ultimately not the one that will be voted on, Donnelly said it’s similar.
“I believe it will receive overwhelming support,” Donnelly said of the final bill.
The senator said he still supports repealing a tax on medical devices, a portion of the Affordable Care Act that had been a rallying point for conservative Republicans in the U.S. House, but that it is time for people to start focusing on the needs of the country instead of politics.
“The easiest thing in the world is to be the loudest person in the Senate,” Donnelly said. “...But that doesn’t get anything done.”
Donnelly said he would have preferred to see the new deadlines, which also includes a deadline of Feb. 7 on raising the country’s debt limit, to have been even longer but that they were better than the six weeks that had been proposed. He said the country needed more time to recover from the current shutdown before having to face another one again. However, Donnelly believes the problems caused by this shutdown — including slow downs in mortgages, scientific research and furloughs — would convince members of both the U.S. House and Senate to avoid similar fights in the future.
“In everyone I talked to, there’s no appetite for a repeat of this in the Senate,” he said.