Gov. McDonnell: ‘A pox on both houses for letting this happen’

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–Monday afternoon Governor Bob McDonnell delivered remarks to the press about the possibility of a federal government shutdown.

If Congress doesn’t reach an agreement by midnight, the government will lurch into shutdown mode.

More than 783,000 government employees will sit at home, according to a CNN analysis of contingency plans published by the federal government on Friday—though not every agency submitted a contingency plan.

“Here we go again,” said Gov. McDonnell, referencing the past few contentious years in Congress, in which leaders “have failed to do their jobs.”

“We have the complete inability in our nation’s capital to do the basic job of keeping government running…in a balanced way.”

Gov. McDonnell said there’s plenty of blame to go around for the looming government shutdown. He called out both the Senate and the House for creating this stale-mate. “A pox on both houses for letting this happen,” Governor McDonnell said.

“Our country is broke,” he said, noting that the current debt is over seventeen trillion.  “Our political process is broken.”

President Obama was on the governor’s radar also; McDonnell said the president hasn’t taken an active stance as a leader, to avoid a government shutdown.

“My Republican friends have got to understand that there is no way on earth that the president and us. Senate are going to vote to defund Obamacare,” the governor said, mentioning that Virginia was the first state to file a lawsuit against the plan. He said that he feels the plan will fail under its own weight.

Regardless, he said, “it is absolutely wrong to shut down the government, and to threaten to shut down the government over this issue—because the basic function of government is to keep itself running and to provide the core services that the American taxpayers invest trillions of dollars of their money in every year.”

He said the Virginians working federal jobs would feel the greatest impact of a government shutdown through furloughs.  Many of the more than 5,000 Department of Defense civilian employees there would be temporarily furloughed, Stephen Baker with the Fort Lee Public Affairs Office wrote in an email.

Gov. McDonnell also said state agencies supplemented by federal funding have until October fourth to evaluate their budgets. From there, McDonnell said the state is prepared to step in and use at least $15 million reserve funding to support those programs.