Congressman Jimmy Duncan defends defunding 'Obamacare'

Congressman Jimmy Duncan defends defunding 'Obamacare'

Posted:
So in my opinion, if the government is shut down it's President Obama that's shutting the government," said Congressman Jimmy Duncan. So in my opinion, if the government is shut down it's President Obama that's shutting the government," said Congressman Jimmy Duncan.

By GENE PATTERSON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knoxville Congressman Jimmy Duncan says there is a high probability that the federal government may shut down next week.

Duncan was among the majority of House Republicans who voted last week to increase the nation's debt ceiling to keep government operating, but with a major stipulation.

That stipulation being the defunding of the Affordable Care Act, which gives it virtually zero chance of passage in the democrat-controlled Senate. It also threatens to shutdown the federal government.

6 News sat down with U.S. Rep. Duncan to allow him to explain his vote.

He says while he understands the consequences of a government shutdown, he feels ridding the country of "Obamacare" is essential.

"Many thousands of people are not being hired all over this country today because of the uncertainty and fear about requirements of Obamacare," said Duncan. "And many thousands of others across the country are having their hours reduced, so this legislation has already damaged this country, and it will hurt even worse if we go through with it."

The congressman from Knoxville says that's not just his opinion. Duncan says a questionnaire about health care, attached to his newsletter, shows 83 percent of his constituents who responded opposed to the president's health care plan.

Still, with virtually no chance that the House resolution defunding Obamacare will pass the Senate, we asked if his vote was more about politics than good government and if Republicans should make an effort toward compromise.

"The bill we passed just a few days ago funds the entire government, except for Obamacare. All he would have to do is compromise on that one piece of legislation, but so far he's been unwilling to do so. So in my opinion, if the government is shut down it's President Obama that's shutting the government," said Duncan.

Duncan says there is a high likelihood that the federal government will shut down at end of this month, but he hopes it's a short one and that solution will be worked out.

"The president ought to be able to compromise to some extent, but he's refusing to compromise at all right now," Duncan explained. "People in national media say the Republicans in the house should be the ones to compromise. We don't control the government. The Democrats control the Senate and the White House."

The last time the federal government shut down was in late 1995 and early 1996. The shutdown lasted 26 days and cost taxpayers $1.4 billion. 

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