Congressman Fleming on furloughs, stalemate continues

(Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online)

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - President Obama invited Congressional leaders to the White House Wednesday evening to discuss the government shutdown and raising the federal debt ceiling.

The meeting included House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Prior to the meeting, Obama made it clear that he would only sit down with lawmakers to find common ground on budget challenges. He also said he was not willing to negotiate under the threat of default.

Day two of the government shutdown continued Wednesday as some 800,000 federal employees remain on furlough.

And we're feeling some of the impacts right here in Lake Charles.

The Social Security Administration building off of Ryan Street posted a note on their door, listing a number of services that are limited due to the government shutdown.

They join several others with closed signs or notes of limited hours.

Congressman John Fleming, R-La., spoke from Capitol Hill Wednesday about furloughs in Louisiana.

"We have civilian federal workers and contract workers at both Barksdale Air Force base in Bossier City as well as Fort Polk in Leesville and I'm sure many of those are furloughed and we want to get them back to work as soon as possible," said Fleming.

He continued, "Fortunately, when you have a situation like this, typically what happens is as soon as government is up and going, all that pay comes back again."

But when the government will re-open remains to be seen. Obama called a meeting Wednesday with Congressional leaders who really had nothing new to say.

"I can only conclude that they wanted to shut down government. They think that has a purpose for them. And we know what that is. They want to overturn the Affordable Care Act. That's not going to happen," said Pelosi.

"We've sent four different proposals over to Democrat colleagues in the Senate. They've rejected all of them. We've asked to have a conference to sit down and try to resolve our differences. They will not negotiate," said Boehner.

"I said fine we'll go to conference, all we want you to do is open the government. And I went through a litany of things we would be happy to talk about or anything else he wanted to talk about and he says, 'no, all I want to do is go to conference on a short-term C.R.,' " said Reid.

Both parties remain divided after Wednesday's 90-minute meeting.

Also looming is the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling which the Treasury Department says will hit Oct. 17.

Obama and Congressional leaders say they don't want the stalemate to spread to that as it could mean a U.S. default. But no progress has come on that front either.

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