Senior Advisor Phil English Discusses the Federal Shutdown with The Philadelphia Inquirer

Senior Government Relations Advisor Philip English was quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer after five Republican Congressmen from the Philadephia region supported a move toward a position that might bring an end to the federal government shutdown that has closed government offices and suspended services across the country.

The Inquirer reported that Republican Reps. Charlie Dent, Patrick Meehan, Jim Gerlach, Mike Fitzpatrick, and John Runyan, as well as Republican Frank LoBiondo, who represents a district along the Jersey Shore, “expressed willingness to support a spending bill without the anti-Obamacare provisions” promoted by their colleagues in the House Republican caucus who are “seeking to block an omnibus spending bill to undo or stall President Obama’s signature health-care overhaul.”

Former Republican Rep. English commented on the federal shutdown of 1995, his first year representing an Erie, PA-based district, describing it as a “frustrating experience,” while describing the differences between the situation in 1995 and the current shutdown, noting that “those who represent ‘swing constituencies’ need to be heard.”  Mr. English said, “The folks who drive the extreme positions, in both parties’ caucuses, are not the ones who have their ears to the ground in swing districts.” He explained that “[o]ne problem with Congress now is that you just don’t have that many people who represent swing constituencies anymore.”

In describing the federal shutdown of 1995 and the current shutdown, Mr. English said that one of the differences is that, “ [In 1995], President Bill Clinton was actively engaged in talks with the House GOP majority, while [current] President Obama and the Democrats who control the Senate insist any effort to undercut Obamacare be removed from the equation.”

Mr. English also pointed out that “[t]he last shutdown was driven largely by the GOP leadership, including then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, while this one stems from a group of committed conservatives among the rank and file.” 

The article included comments from Philadelphia-area constituents, some who supported the idea of a deal to end the shutdown while allowing Obamacare to move forward and others who opposed such a strategy.

To read the entire article, click here.


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