(Anne Eller of SCRN affiliate WLMA in Greenwood contributed to this report)
Congressman Mick Mulvaney of the 5th District says he’s not optimistic Congress will pass a continuing resolution by Friday’s deadline in order to avert a government shutdown. During an interview with affiliate WLMA in Greenwood, Mulvaney said any short-term budget would need to be passed immediately.
The rules require that any bill we put forward has to be available to the public for three days, which means that we have to go ahead and get it by Monday or Tuesday… I don’t think we’re close. The Senate is simply refusing to have these meaningful discussions.
Two short-term continuing resolutions have been passed so far this year. The current one expires April 8.
The problem is that the Republican-controlled House wants to make $61 billion in cuts, while the Democratic Senate is only asking for $10 billion. Both sides are in negotiations to meet in the middle at $33 million, but it did not appear that a deal had been reached by Sunday night.
However, Mulvaney doesn’t think a “shutdown” would be as bad as it’s being portrayed, saying it would be more accurate to call it a “slowdown.”
It used to be an ordinary course of business. Do I think it’ll end up a political ballyhoo? Sure, because everybody will write about it. You’ll see… it on the news every single night. The truth of the matter is, though, that it isn’t as big of a deal as people make it out to be as long– as it doesn’t last a long period of time.
He says part of the problem is that few people on either side of the aisle realize how serious the budget situation is.
I hear out of my own party’s mouth… this line: “I know times are tough, but,” and then there’s some inevitable request for additional money. When I hear that, it means to me that people simply don’t understand the situation that we’re in.
Mulvaney opposed the previous two resolutions, but said he’d be open to voting for a compromise on one condition: if $5 billion set aside to implement the new health care law was removed.