The partial shutdown of the federal government is over, the debt ceiling has been raised – but U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says there still will be political consequences for Republicans in Congress.
The deal passed by Congress funds the government through Jan. 15 and raises the debt limit until Feb. 15. Noting that several polls show the public blaming Republicans for the crisis, Durbin believes there won’t be another shutdown battle next year.
“If the American people speak up and say to Speaker Boehner, ‘This is unacceptable’, that’ll make a difference,” Durbin said. “Come the election in November of next year, the American voters have the last word.”
Durbin said that the 16-day shutdown has left the Tea Party “discredited”, and urged House Republican leaders to limit the group’s influence.
Meanwhile, for U.S. House Republicans, it’s time to put the partial shutdown of the federal government into the past and focus on what they say is important: firing away at the Affordable Care Act.
“I think ObamaCare’s a train wreck,” says U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville), “and now without the government shutdown taking up the entire news cycle, you’re going to see what my constituents are contacting me about when it comes to ObamaCare. They’re talking about exorbitant exponential increases in the insurance premiums.”
Davis, facing a primary challenge in 2014, brushes aside the notion that capitulating to the compromise will carry a political cost.
“The bill that passed actually changed ObamaCare,” he says. “It’s enforcing income verification for those who want to get a subsidy. The president was not going to enforce the income verification. This could potentially save taxpayers billions of dollars.”
Davis says the focus now should be on what the budget team is doing, ahead of the next round of deadlines.