Vulnerable Republicans: End the shutdown
By: Alex Isenstadt
October 1, 2013 12:38 PM EDT
Some House Republicans facing perilous paths to reelection in 2014 are beginning to budge on the government shutdown, calling for the party to compromise and move on from its fight over defunding Obamacare.
“Republicans fought the good fight. The fight continues but is not advanced by a government shutdown that damages our economy and harms our military,” Virginia Rep. Scott Rigell said in a statement. “The time has come to pass a clean CR to reopen the government.”
And Pennsylvania Rep. Pat Meehan said: “I came to Washington to fix government, not shut it down. At this point, I believe it’s time for the House to vote for a clean, short-term funding bill to bring the Senate to the table and negotiate a responsible compromise.”
Lawmakers such as Rigell and Meehan who represent moderate districts likely have the most to lose if the American public sours on the House GOP’s role in the shutdown. Rigell’s military-heavy district encompassing the Hampton Roads area was narrowly carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. Mitt Romney won Meehan’s suburban Philadelphia district by a slight margin.
Rigell and Meehan join two other Republicans from moderate districts — New York Rep. Peter King and Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent — who have been outspoken in trying to convince the House GOP to abandon its fight.
New Jersey Rep. Frank LoBiondo, who represents an Atlantic City-area seat that Obama won by eight percentage points, has indicated that he’s unhappy with the House GOP’s course of action. The 10-term congressman was quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer as saying: “At a certain point, if the strategy is not going to get us a result or a conclusion, I’m not going to go along with it…I want to see a result. The bigger fight’s coming on the debt limit.”
Another endangered Republican, Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, stopped short of calling on his party to throw in the towel but stressed that he wanted to reach an agreement.
“Like most of those I represent, I remain opposed to Obamacare, but a government shutdown is absolutely unacceptable,” Davis, a freshman incumbent who represents a district that is nearly evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, said in a Tuesday morning statement.
Davis — like the other endangered Republicans now expressing their desire to vote on a clean CR — previously voted in favor of budget resolutions that would defund the health care law.
A host of vulnerable GOP incumbents have come under fire from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which on Tuesday launched an automated call campaign blasting them and 60 other Republicans over the shutdown.
“While you were sleeping, Congressman Rodney Davis shut down the government. You heard that right. But even worse – Congressman Davis is still getting paid – and he’s just not listening to our frustration,” said the call targeting Davis. “All because of his demand to take away your benefits and protect insurance company profits.”
On Tuesday afternoon, the DCCC sent out a press release deriding Davis as a member of the “Too Little, Too Late Caucus.”