Local residents had the chance to take their concerns to one of the area legislators who has been in the middle of the battle in Washington. Congressman John Barrow held a town hall style meeting in Evans to hear from people who are worried about the shutdown. Dee Griffin talked with Congressman Barrow about his feelings on what's happening in Washington.
In the midst of what amounts to a 50 hour Congressional break, Congressman John Barrow stood in front of constituents trying to gauge their feelings and sort through concerns over the government shutdown that is entering it's second week.
"What is happening and what is going to happen to make it better?" asked one constituent.
While the future may be hard to predict, Congressman Barrow easily explained his views on past and present actions by his colleagues in Washington. "If members of Congress felt some sacrifice, if they had to impose some cost on themselves for their failure to do their jobs and think a little better about the folks who are ready, willing and able to do their jobs," says Congressman John Barrow.
As legislators sit in a stalemate, Congressman Barrow says he took a stand for furloughed workers and their rights to back pay. He explains, "I voted for legislation over the weekend that would restore the pay that has been withheld from employees who've been furloughed without pay and those who are being forced to work without pay. I voted for legislation that would restore that lost income after this is over."
With no end in sight, lawmakers are facing the beginning of another uphill battle when the looming deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling comes into play in a little more than a week. He says it's worse than a baby playing with a hammer. "If this government refuses to pay the bills that have been accrued over time like Medicare and Social Security and everything else to run the government then we'll find out this baby has been playing with a nuclear bomb," adds Congressman Barrow.
While Congress has not agreed to forgo their salaries during the government shutdown, Congressman Barrow says he is donating all of his salary during this time to the Augusta Warrior Project.
Meanwhile, U-S Senator Johnny Isakson was busy today as well. In Washington, he urged Congress to adopt a biennial budgeting system as part of any deal to end the current government shutdown. Senator Isakson argued that a biennial budgeting system would help prevent the need for constant last-minute negotiations on continuing resolutions.
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