MacArthur: Compromise on both sides will end shutdown
WASHINGTON — Rep. Tom MacArthur said compromise is needed to end what he called an "irresponsible and unnecessary" federal government shutdown.
During an interview on WOBM's Topic A on Sunday the Republican laid blame on Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer for holding back votes on a continuing resolution, and said he thinks both parties share responsibility for the shutdown. The Senate minority leader refused to provide the votes needed to reopen the government until they strike a deal with the president protecting young immigrants from deportation, providing disaster relief, and boosting spending for opioid treatment and other domestic programs.
"There has to be compromise on both sides. This brinksmanship is what concerns me the most. It's being set up like a zero, set and game." MacArthur told hosts Bob Levy and Jeremy Grunin.
"I hear in DC the phrase common ground a lot. And that's important too. Compromise is when you don't have common ground. Compromise is when you have to give to get. When you have to vote on something you really don't like in the spirit of letting the other guy get something that really matters to them.
Democratic lawmakers challenged President Donald Trump to get more involved in talks and to accept bipartisan compromise as a way out of a federal shutdown that entered its second day Sunday. The shutdown so far has come amid finger-pointing from both parties as to who bears primary responsibility.
The third congressional district congressman held out hope that an agreement could be reached early in the week.
"It really depends in large part in how the Senate Republicans and Democrats respond," he said.
MacArthur also said he is sponsoring a bill called the Pay Our Protectors, Not Our Politicians Act, which would make sure members of the military continue to collect their paychecks during future government shutdowns.
“South Jersey is home to thousands of military members; we depend on them and they must be able to depend on us. There is no excuse for this shutdown, but until it’s resolved, we need to do the right thing by our troops - Period," MacArthur said.
In a letter to Congress' Chief Adminstative Officer on Saturday MacArthur asked his pay to be withheld for the duration of the shutdown.
Gov. Phil Murphy held a conference call on Saturday with MacArthur as well as congressmen Leonard Lance, Donald Norcross, Bill Pascrell, and Frank Pallone as well as Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez.
According to spokesman Daniel Bryan the governor emphasized his concern about the severe potential impacts of the federal government’s shutdown on New Jersey families, and stated that lines of communication are open between his office and the entire delegation.
MacArhur said he applauded Murphy for meeting with the delegation, and said he gained a better understanding of the affect of the shutdown on New Jersey, especially since the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was not authorized.
As part of the National Park System the Statue of Liberty and Philadelphia's Liberty Bell were closed. New York governor Andrew Cuomo called the statue "a symbol of America" and that its closure reflects a government trying "to kick out immigrants." He says a state-level plan is in the works to reopen it.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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