Governor Observes Congress’ Latest Budget Battle
September 3, 2013 — It‘s not just a debate over Syria awaiting Congress next week — a deadline is looming to reach a budget deal. Network Indiana’s Eric Berman reports.
Several Republican governors have publicly urged conservatives in Congress not to risk a government shutdown with a demand to defund the federal health care law. Indiana‘s Mike Pence is not among them. Pence says he intends to stay out of the congressional debate, but says he‘d welcome any step to delay the taxes and mandates the law will create. Other governors have worried a shutdown could damage their state economies. Pence notes there were similar worries about budget sequestration. He says Indiana‘s fiscal strength meant the sequester had ilttle effect on services. And Pence says he‘s convinced the health care law is stifling economic growth, even before it takes full effect. He says he hears daily from business owners who say the law is affecting their decisions. Even without the defunding battle, Congress faces difficult negotiations to pass either a budget or a stopgap spending bill in time for the start of the new fiscal year October 1. Negotiations between the White House and a small group of Republican senators, including Indiana‘s Dan Coats, broke off last week, with both sides saying their philosophical differences over tax policy are too much to overcome.