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Schweikert aggravated with Senate as government shutdown looms

(AP Photo)
LISTEN: David Schweikert, Arizona Congressman

PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman said Thursday that he was frustrated with the Senate as the threat of another government shutdown loomed over the nation’s capitol.

“Every senator is sort of an island onto their own and, sometimes, I think their vanity exceeds the desire to do what’s right for the American people,” Republican U.S. Rep. David Schweikert told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

Schweikert said he and his colleagues in the House sent appropriations bills to the Senate four or five months ago. However, he said the Senate’s 60-vote rule for bills to be heard allows members to play an extortion game with both the opposing party and the House.

“The House will do its work, we’ll send something over to the Senate, and the Senate will say, ‘Well, we’re not going to agree unless you give us this, this or that,'” he said.

Schweikert said it may be time for the Senate to reconsider its rules as the House prepared to send over another continuing resolution Thursday night that would fund the government for a few more weeks.

“We have to rewrite the mechanisms we do this by and it maybe time for the Senate to say appropriations bills only need 51 votes,” he said.

Though he was frustrated by the Senate, Schweikert said the average American should not be overly worried about the possible government shutdown, which would go into effect at midnight Friday if lawmakers fail to reach a deal.

“If we were to actually go into a government shutdown … only about 18 percent of government goes into slowdown,” he said. “The rest of the government is considered essential.”

When asked if he were a betting man, Schweikert said he would put his money on the shutdown being avoided.

“I don’t think it’s going to happen,” he said.

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