As the government shutdown entered its second day without signs of an end, Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-2) called the situation unacceptable. He told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he wants legislators to end the government shutdown and said Republicans aren’t the only ones to blame for the stalemate.
“I’m very disturbed and pretty angry that there does not appear to be a conclusion, a successful conclusion at least within sight at this point. And there are a bunch of us that are working behind the scenes to try to find some way to get a result,” LoBiondo said. “There are multiple ways to get a good result. I opt for any one of them that gets this problem fixed.”
LoBiondo said he would support a clean resolution to fund the government if that vote comes up. But he added that the objections Republicans have raised with Obamacare are popular with his constituents.
“The idea that the president and his cabinet in Congress live under the same law that the rest of the people in the country have to, that’s not too radical,” LoBiondo said. “I pay for my own health care and always have. The taxpayers never have. So it doesn’t affect me. But when you talk to people out there, they find it pretty outrageous that Congress and the president and his cabinet don’t have to live under the same law.”
While LoBiondo said Republicans have internal issues that have caused trouble, he also pointed out that President Barack Obama did not call leaders of Congress to the White House until 5:30 p.m.
“The government’s been shut down for two days. Where’s the leadership of the president other than calling the speaker to say, ‘I’m just calling to tell you that there’s nothing to talk about. You have to accept what I’m offering,’” LoBiondo said. “And how about Harry Reid who refuses to sit down until today? Refuses to even sit down and discuss anything. So the idea of the president’s compromise is that Republicans give him everything he wants and we don’t even get to talk about things we think are important. That’s not a way to get to a solution.”
Many Americans have expressed disappointment in the elected leaders and LoBiondo doesn’t disagree with them. “The congressional approval rating is probably at all time lows for good reason,” he said. “So I would just have to ask people to look at their own member of Congress. Look carefully at what their record is, what they’re supporting and what they’re opposing and make their decision. This is America and we have to abide by that.”