McKinley to Obama, Senate: Let’s talk

WHEELING – Hoping to avoid another government shutdown, Rep. David McKinley, R-Wheeling, took to the House floor Wednesday to call for negotiations with the Democrat-controlled Senate and President Barack Obama.

As Congress prepares for the next round of budget battles, McKinley called for discussions to include a wide range of issues, including deficit reduction, tax and regulatory reform and making changes to the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. A fight over House Republicans’ attempt to eliminate funding to implement the health care law has been blamed for the 16-day partial shutdown of the government that ended Oct. 16.

McKinley said the House did its part by agreeing to reopen the government without receiving concessions it had previously demanded from Obama and the Senate on issues such as spending and health care.

Obama’s “promise to address the critical drivers of our economy is why last week I voted to end the budget impasse and tentatively cooperate with the president … ,” McKinley said. “In the next 90 days, let’s demonstrate that Congress can work in a bipartisan fashion and tackle our most serious problems now – a weak economy, a growing national debt and a health care law that isn’t ready for implementation.”

McKinley said 97 percent of all jobs created this year have been part-time, as workers are seeing their hours cut, while the percentage of American adults not working is at its highest in 35 years.

“Our latest college graduates can’t find jobs and millions more of our country’s youth have quit searching for employment. It’s time to reduce the uncertainty and help these families,” he said.

The continuing resolution that provides funding for government programs is set to expire Jan. 15. The legislation provides for no new spending cuts, but does extend the current sequester levels. It also extends the debt ceiling deadline until Feb. 7 – after which time the U.S. could default on its obligations if no deal is reached.