Gov. McDonnell on shutdown: 'It's embarrassing and they need to get it fixed'

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by Nick Ochsner, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 6:54 PM

RICHMOND -- Governor Bob McDonnell has tough words for lawmakers in Washington, as the country trudges through day eleven of a government shutdown.

"No family, no business, no church, no synagogue could possibly run their finances the way the United States of America is running the country," McDonnell said in an exclusive interview with 13News Now Friday. "It's embarrassing and they need to get it fixed immediately."

McDonnell said the shutdown is affecting nearly one third of Virginia's more than 170,000 government employees whom McDonnell said are currently furloughed. That number is bigger, McDonnell explained, when you consider civilian contractors also currently out of work.

"That's sales tax, that's income tax; it's a real heartache for those families at the state and federal level," he said.

McDonnell placed much of the blame on President Barack Obama but said Republicans in Congress are also at fault for demanding the President agree to de-fund his signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act.

"It was a strategy that was doomed to fail," McDonnell said. "There's a reason Congress has a ten percent approval rating and they've probably earned it."

McDonnell said he and his cabinet are in the process of evaluating state resources to use in the event that the shutdown continues or Congress and the President are unable to reach an agreement to extend the debt ceiling.

McDonnell said he and his cabinet are considering using state funds to re-open national parks. Several states have already agreed to pay to keep parks open after local businesses saw a major drop in demand following the their closure.

McDonnell said he has asked Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech if state funding is available to pay to operate national parks.

As the government shutdown continues, McDonnell said he is confident Virginia has the resources necessary to stay open, despite a major cut in federal dollars.

"We'll get through this," McDonnell said. "I think we're well prepared in Virginia, we've got significant cash reserves."

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