Former MI Rep Says Shutdown Makes No Sense

Joe Schwarz is as frustrated with Congress as anyone.

People walk near Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. Congress plunged the nation into a partial government shutdown Tuesday as a long-running dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law stalled a temporary funding bill, forcing about 800,000 federal workers off the job and suspending most non-essential federal programs and services. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

"I don't think I've ever seen people as angry at Congress as I've seen them in the last few days."

"They all have to learn to play in the same sandbox. If they can't we got a big problem."

Joe Schwarz teaches Public Policy at the University of Michigan and not surprisingly Tuesday's discussion was all about the shutdown.

"(The students) were all quite opinionated. They're opinions were 'What in the world... what in the world is Congress doing to itself and to the country?'" Schwarz exclaimed. "This shutdown makes utterly no sense whatsoever."

Schwarz, a moderate Republican who represented the 7th district from 2005 to 2007, calls Speaker John Boehner a good man put in a tough spot by the Tea Party. But Boehner may also be the key to ending the shutdown.

"I believe the Speaker can bring the continuing budget resolution to the floor of the House with a rule that says no amendments and you vote it up or down and I believe it would be passed with between 20-30 Republican votes, which is what you need with all the Democrat votes," he said. "Send it to the Senate. The Senate will concur and that's done."

It's a unique time in American politics, says Schwarz. One where lawmakers can't come to any sort of agreement with the other side and it could have a drastic impact on Washington.

"I believe a lot of members of congress are going to see the handwriting on the wall, because I don't think I've ever seen people as angry at Congress as I've seen them in the last few days," Schwarz says. "There are going to be a lot of retirements and some people who decide to run for re-election will not be re-elected.

"I think that number will be relatively high."

Even more importantly, Schwarz thinks Congress needs to get it together before the debt ceiling deadline on the 17th because in his words-- America cannot default on its debts.


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