GOP governors warn against shutdown over Obamacare

“How much blood are we going to leave on the floor over this?”

Published August 5, 2013 1:14PM (EDT)

A group of Republican governors warned their fellow party members in Congress against shutting down the government over Obamacare funding, saying that it could seriously hurt the economies in their states.

“I have made the case that Obamacare is not good for the economy, but I have some real concerns about potentially doing something that would have a negative impact on the economy just for the short term — I think there are other ways to pursue this,” Gov. Scott Walker, of Wisconsin, said at a meeting of the National Governors Association.

“I’ve never felt that shutting down government function is a wise thing to do politically because I think, whoever is involved in it, it’s the Congress, regardless of what party they’re affiliated with, that will be blamed by the public,” said Gov. Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, according to the New York Times. “And so, to me, I don’t see what it accomplishes.”

“How much blood are we going to leave on the floor over this?" asked Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi.

A group of Tea Party Republicans is threatening to block a measure that would extend funding to the federal government beyond Sept. 30, if that measure includes funding for the Affordable Care Act. But many Republicans, in Congress and otherwise, have criticized the move -- especially since a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service found that a shutdown would not even stop Obamacare from being funded. And, as the New York Times reports:

[M]any Republicans, including high-profile conservatives like Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, fear that Mr. Obama and the Democrats will only benefit in the 2014 elections from a doomed effort to block spending on the new law because Congressional Republicans would bear the blame for the subsequent shutdown of the government.

Because of the very nature of their jobs, Republican governors mainly fall into the pragmatist camp on this issue.

The prospect of even a temporary halt to the federal government, they say, would frighten their state’s businesses and disrupt some core services.

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Government Shutdown National Governors Association Obamacare Phil Bryant Republicans Scott Walker