East Tennessee lawmakers offer solutions to government shutdown

East Tennessee lawmakers offer solutions to government shutdown

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U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (source: U.S. House of Representatives) U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (source: U.S. House of Representatives)
U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan (source: U.S. House of Representatives) U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan (source: U.S. House of Representatives)

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - East Tennessee lawmakers told 6 News they never wanted a government shutdown and one congressman said there is room for a possible compromise if leaders on both sides agree to a conference.

Republican Rep. Phil Roe said despite Democrats rejecting a request for a conference, he hopes lawmakers will meet to hammer out the details.

When asked whether members of his party would consider tackling the issue of defunding or delaying the Affordable Healthcare Act separately from debating the federal budget, Roe said: "Well that could be a possibility. We'll see if you go to conference again that may be worked out. That's how those differences are worked out."

Rep. Jimmy Duncan, another Republican against what the party has dubbed Obamacare, said he believes the Democrats and the president have been unwilling to compromise.

"He is absolutely refusing to negotiate," Duncan said. "Republicans and Congress voted several days ago to fund the entire government except for Obamacare and we always said we were open to negotiations on that one piece of legislation."

Republican Senators Lamar Alexander also issued a statement Tuesday.

"This government shutdown is disappointing to me. It's disappointing to those who are affected by it, and I'm sure it's disappointing to the American people," Alexander said. "What is especially disappointing to me is the unwillingness of the president and Senate Democrats to make a reasonable effort to resolve the real differences of opinion that exist here."

President Obama painted a different picture Tuesday of Capitol Hill.

"Many representatives, including an increasing number of Republicans, have made it clear that had they been allowed by speaker Boehner to take a simple up or down vote on keeping the government open, with no partisan strings attached, enough votes from both parties would have kept the American people's government open and operating," Obama said.

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