Opening Government
1:29 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Back to Work, But No Reason to Celebrate, Says Murphy

Senator Chris Murphy.
Senator Chris Murphy.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s back to work for hundreds of thousands of furloughed government employees. President Obama has signed legislation ending the partial government shutdown and averting a U.S. default. But U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said there’s no reason to celebrate.

"It should be the basic expectation of government," Murphy said, "that we keep the doors open and pay our debts. The only silver lining here is, hopefully, the Tea Party has realized that they get nothing by putting a gun to the head of the American economy, and that threatening a shutdown is not a way to advance their political gains. That’s the only good thing that comes out of this deal."

Murphy said that moving forward, Congress will have to figure out how a majority of lawmakers in the House and Senate can get things done when a small group of House Republicans operates differently than the rest. "This has been probably the most frustrating couple of weeks of my time in public service," he said, "maybe with the exception of the failure of the gun bill earlier this year. It's really difficult to understand how a small group of right-wing radicals can essentially hold the entire federal government hostage."

The U.S. Treasury is authorized to borrow normally at least through February 7. The federal government is funded through January 15.