Kinzinger: Leaders need to get their act together and reopen government

January 12, 2019

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger supports a plan to build a border wall. What he doesn’t support is shutting down the government to get it done.

In fact, he said shutdowns are “the dumbest way” to run a government.

Kinzinger, R-Channahon, was one of eight House Republicans to vote in favor of a bill Wednesday to reopen portions of the government affected by the shutdown.

With more funding bills expected to be voted on in the House, Kinzinger said Thursday morning on CNN’s “New Day” he will vote on each funding bill based on its merit.

“I think shutdowns are stupid,” said Kinzinger, whose district includes parts of Bureau, Lee, and Ogle and counties. “I think it’s the dumbest way to do government in the world. People laugh at us when we can’t get our act together.”

Kinzinger said shutdowns are used as political leverage.

“This goes to both sides,” the congressman said. “This isn’t an attack on the president, or just the Democrats.”

Some 800,000 federal employees, more than half of whom are still on the job, were due to miss their first paycheck Friday under a stoppage that neared a record for the longest government shutdown.

Kinzinger said he supports a border wall between the United States and Mexico. President Donald Trump has demanded $5.7 billion for the wall. Trump has recently said that “if for any reason we don’t get this going” – an agreement with House Democrats who have refused to approve the $5.7 billion for the wall – “I will declare a national emergency.”

Kinzinger believes there is room for compromise, because Trump has not said no to legislation for Dreamers or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which lay out a path to residency for undocumented minors.

“I think the president is right to say that if we’re going to have a negotiation Nancy Pelosi has got to get off her absolutely-no-wall position, because from that position, it’s untenable,” Kinzinger said.

Kinzinger said immigration is one of the easier issues to solve in Washington if both sides would get past not allowing the other side to have a political victory.

“We are 8 days into this new Congress and we’re already in re-election mode,” Kinzinger said. “For God’s sake if we can even take at least a week to govern, before we turn to re-election.”

The House and Senate passed a bill this week requiring all government workers receive retroactive pay after the partial shutdown ends, and president is expected to sign the legislation.

Update hourly