Pryor, Cotton dig in, point fingers over government shutdown
There was no progress Thursday toward ending the partial government shutdown, but the blame game was alive and well.
"This shutdown, just like the farm bill, is totally a manufactured crisis by this core group of House Republicans," said Democratic Senator Mark Pryor.
And, Republican Representative Tom Cotton says, "Well, unfortunately the House has been seeking to negotiate for four days now, and the Senate Democrats refuse to negotiate."
In a nutshell, the Republican-controlled House wants to postpone the implementation of the healthcare law. The Democrat-controlled Senate does not. And after three days of impasse, neither side has budged.
"The Senate has passed, I think four different bills, to keep the government open with no strings attached, but the House just won't do that yet, even though they have the votes, the speaker won't even bring it up," said Pryor.
"We could reach a solution today, and government could reopen tonight if the Senate Democrats would decide they'd rather keep the government open than keep their special exemptions and special subsidies under Obamacare," said Cotton.
"In the meantime, thousands of Arkansans are hurting. They've either been furloughed or forced to work without pay, and these two lawmakers, who are running for the same Senate seat in 2014, are pointing fingers.
"You have this core group of Republican lawmakers in House, and again, my opponent is one of them, who is basically holding this hostage," said Pryor.
"They voted down, even our offer to negotiate on Tuesday morning. It's hard to negotiate, when no one else is sitting on the other side of the table," said Cotton.
@Both Pryor and Cotton say they expect the furloughed workers will receive backpay when a budget is passed, but there are no guarantees that will happen.