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Alaska's Congressional Delegation Weighs in on Shutdown

By Dan Carpenter, Oil, Gas, Native Issues, Corporations and Subsistence Multimedia Reporter, dcarpenter@ktuu.com
Published On: Oct 10 2013 06:30:00 PM AKDT
Capitol Hill

Creative Commons (flickr/Ron Cogswell)

Members of the Alaska Congressional Delegation may not agree on how the government shutdown will end, but they do agree that tying healthcare to funding the rest of the government will not work.

“We are the United States of America," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican. "We are a governing body, and we ought to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, and you know what we have let the American people down."

The delegation is expressing concern for the impacts disagreements on Capitol Hill are having at home.

“Do I support making sure veterans are back and, you know, my crabbers up in Bering Sea can go fishing and everything else?" said Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat. "Absolutely. But you've got to open up the whole government."

Both senators and Rep. Don Young, a Republican, remain unconvinced the Tea Party strategy will lead to changes in the President's healthcare law.

“This is the only disagreement I have with our leadership you can't tie the shutdown to healthcare because as long as you have Harry Reid and the president they aren't going to sign the bill,” said Young.

In addition to finding a way to fund the government, Congress must address raising the debt ceiling.