Transcript: Sen. Dick Durbin’s remarks on the continuing resolution to avert government shutdown – Sept. 30, 2013

Partial transcript of remarks by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on a “clean” continuing resolution to avert government shutdown. The press briefing was held on Sept. 30, 2013:

Before the final roll call was announced on the floor of the Senate just moments ago, there was a memo circulating – an email circulating that the Republicans in the House anticipated losing and now want to tell us what the next stage of this drama would be.

Well, they’re going to send it back to us now with some new version of the amendment – some sort of delay or defunding of Obamacare and something to do with members’ health care. You see where this is headed? And staff. And you see where this is headed.

They’re going to keep playing this over and over and over again expecting a different result.

The result will be the passage of a clean CR [continuing resolution] that we sent them when they call it on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

I watched over the weekend while some of the Tea Party Republicans were congratulating themselves on their wisdom and their courage – their courage?! What courage does it take for a Tea Party Republican to shut down the federal government at the expense of someone else’s job, at the expense of critical services that people across America count on every single day? That’s not courage. That’s cowardice.

Let them step up and accept their responsibility to govern, and let it start with the Speaker.

I understand his plight. It’s very obvious to the world. He has a willful group within his caucus.

One Republican House member said to me, “We’re not dealing with two parties in the House. We’re dealing with three.” Two different Republican parties and a Democratic party. And most of our caucuses, he said, are a fight between the two versions and factions of the Republican party. That’s what he’s up against.

But I don’t feel any sympathy for him at all at this moment. At some point, he has an awesome responsibility in the chain of succession to lead the United States of America as Speaker of the House to step up and lead in the name of the American people and for the good of our country.

To think that because of his willful faction of Tea Party Republicans, he would allow this government to shut down and continue to play these games back and forth is just inexcusable – inexcusable for anyone who calls himself a leader.

I hope the Speaker steps up. He owes it to the American people, not just federal employees but to everyone who’s praying for this economy to get stronger and we don’t lose jobs over this folly.


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