Some Republican state lawmakers are saying that the current federal government shutdown needs to end before it harms the country further.
The shutdown is hurting state and local governments, they told The Huffington Post, and while they understand a need to address Obamacare at the federal level, shutting down the government is not the answer. The shutdown would do more harm than good to the Republican Party in the long-term, the GOP state legislators said.
"As it is prolonged, people will start looking for someone to blame," Kansas state Rep. J.R. Claeys (R-Salina) told HuffPost. "When they look for someone to blame, it will be House Republicans. Whether it is real or not, it does not matter."
Claeys agrees with House Republicans' position on the health care law, but he said there are better ways to get the point across than tying it to continued funding of the federal government. He questioned why they even connected the two, saying it was a goal that would never be reached.
"I think asking the president to sign something that defunds or postpones his signature domestic policy achievement is something that he will not budge on," Claeys said. "I am not sure what the point is."
In New Jersey, Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) said he is baffled by the shutdown, and that Congress and President Barack Obama should be looking to Trenton for inspiration on how to move forward. He noted that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has managed to work closely with a Democratic-controlled Legislature for almost four years. He dismissed the current situation in Washington as "absurd."
Bramnick, a close Christie ally, had some advice for Obama and Congress.
"How do you not sit everyone down in the room?" Bramnick said. "If you need a mediator, get a mediator. I don't think anyone at all thinks this is how the federal government should run."
Kansas state Rep. Brett Hildabrand (R-Shawnee) told HuffPost that he thinks everyone in Washington is to blame for the current shutdown. He accused Obama and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for "throwing up roadblocks" while he said that House Republicans "have not been cooperative." Describing himself as "disappointed" in the shutdown, Hildabrand said that the time has come for people to compromise and "give a little." He noted that while he understands the opposition to Obama, he wants "core functions" of the federal government funded.
Wyoming state Rep. Dan Zwonitzer (R-Cheyenne) said that while his state has long had a conservative philosophy of small government, the shutdown will have a long-term impact economically. He noted that the United States Air Force is the state's largest employer, and furloughs are hitting that sector and related industries. Since tourism is the second largest industry in the state, closing national parks has an impact on a number of small businesses in the Cowboy State.
"We are probably not as adverse to shutdown as we tend to believe that government has grown too big," Zwonitzer said. "Wyoming has the mindset that government had grown too big and our debt is too large. However, the local severe impact will become apparent as the shutdown continues."
Claeys said he hoped Republicans' decision to push Obamacare defunding as part of the budget resolution was not purely for political reasons.
"I would be disappointed if this was a fundraising stunt," Claeys said.