As the federal government shutdown moves into its second day, S.C. Rep. Bill Clyburn, D-Aiken, calls the situation a tragedy.
“It troubles me to know we can't get the government to move,” he said. “It's just that simple, but it's not registering with them. These people are pretty intelligent, and there's no reason to believe they don't know the damage they have caused.”
It's shameful that individual government employees are caught in the furlough situation, said S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken.
“But there is a much bigger issue at stake,” he said. “The federal government is hugely bloated and has been expanding for decades, regardless of which party is in control. The nonsense must stop.”
Both parities are passing off the shutdown to the other, Clyburn said.
“Every person up there that's involved is just as guilty as everybody else,” he said. “When you play the name game, we wind up just where we are. But I do believe there will be some resolution soon, maybe within hours.”
The federal government is sending a great country over the cliff, Taylor said. Elected officials are spending money they don't have and without facing the consequences, he said.
“I've been hearing from folks who say the madness has to stop,” Taylor said. “Government needs to shrink and focus on things that make us safe. Let the states lead. I believe the 50 states are labs of innovation ... Each is unique in history and better represents its citizens.”
Contentiousness between both parties over the Affordable Care Act has been the key issue that has triggered the shutdown. But it's the law, Clyburn said.
“If you want to change the law, you don't think about anything that can result in a shutdown,” Clyburn said. “Self-serving politics should be taken out of this, and that will make things better for all of us.”
Taylor said he's not qualified to predict how long the shutdown will continue. But he maintains that Obamacare wasn't needed at all.
“If the federal government had let insurance companies cross state lines, that issue would have been solved,” Taylor said. “I just hope this dialogue wakes up America. Life will not just go on. The people I talk to are very worried.”
Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard's education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.