Rep. Carnahan: federal shutdown situation "an all hands on deck moment" | St. Louis Public Radio

Rep. Carnahan: federal shutdown situation "an all hands on deck moment"

Apr 8, 2011

Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahan says the stalemate in Washington over the budget has more to do with ideology than numbers.

A government shutdown will begin at midnight if Congress is not able to reach an agreement on the remainder this year's budget.

Carnahan says Republicans are targeting Planned Parenthood, the EPA, and public broadcasting as part of their proposed cuts.

"Certainly people are entitled to their own opinions about that,” Carnahan said. “But this is not the way to do it."

Democrats have agreed to $37 billion in cuts, while Republican House Speaker John Boehner asked for $39 billion.

Carnahan says Congress needs to turn its attention to working on next year's budget.

In the event of a shutdown, Carnahan said that one of his offices will close in Missouri, but his staff will keep working in Washington.

"We believe this is an all hands on deck moment that we need to be here working, to get to a compromise, but also to be sure when people have questions that there's someone here to answer them," Carnahan said.

Congressional members will be paid during a shutdown but staff members would not.

Carnahan's office says more than 100,000 federal employees in Missouri also would go without paychecks.

In the mid-'90s federal employees were paid retroactively, although there's no guarantee that would be the case this time.