"Everything is so fractured. There just doesn't seem to be an order to what we're doing," Rep. Jones concluded.
For Rep. Walter Jones, the shutdown is finally starting hit home. The North Carolina Congressman now become the latest Republican to call for re-opening the government without any strings attached.
“I wish we would pass a clean CR,” said Jones, who represents the state’s third district. “People are beginning back home to feel it. It might be imaginary, but they feel it.”
Jones cited the example of a car dealer back in his district who told him hadn’t had a customer in the past six days. “He’s saying people are just beginning now to get concerned if y’all are going to able to fix it or not,” Jones recalled. “He said [the shutdown] does impact people. Maybe they don’t work for the federal government, but it’s all beginning to become a psychological issue now.”
Jones joins a growing chorus of House Republicans who want a clean stopgap budget, known as a Continuing Resolution (CR), as Democrats have been demanding. Last weekend, he told a group of Republican constituents that they needed to be realistic about their demands. “You want to change Obamacare? Win the Senate back,” he said to them on Saturday.
But Jones also refuses to support a clean debt-ceiling increase—the other Democratic demand, which poses a much larger threat to the economy. When asked whether default would also pose an economic threat to his district, Jones said he wasn’t sure what the impact of breaching the debt ceiling would be.
“You hear that every year that it comes up. I know there is a price to pay, and I don’t know what the price is. But I don’t know how a nation continues to borrow money from foreign governments to pay its bills unless you just stop spending,” said Jones, who pointed out that he hadn’t voted for a debt-ceiling increase since 1997.
Jones noted that divisions within the Republican Party were making it hard for Speaker John Boehner to chart a course through the budget fight. ”I think he just doesn’t know which way to go. That’s not a criticism of his ability to be a leader. It’s just that everything is so fractured. There just doesn’t seem to be an order to what we’re doing,” he concluded.