U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper today joined a group of moderate Democrats and Republicans in outlining a proposal to reopen government, returning 800,000 federal employees to work.
"In a weak economy, even a few days of government shutdown weaken America," Cooper said. "Congress needs to fund government now and stop partisan bickering."
Frustrated by congressional leadership's inability to keep government open, or even to engage in serious talks with the other political party, the bipartisan coalition led by Democratic Rep. Ron Kind (WI) and Republican Charlie Dent (PA) agreed to a proposal that would fund government for at least six months at current levels, and modify one small part of the Affordable Care Act. Discretionary spending would be at $986 billion until March 31, 2014, and the medical device tax of 2.3% would be repealed and replaced by other revenues.
"Tennesseans deserve better than the sort of congressional misbehavior they have been getting," Cooper said. "Democrats and Republicans should work together for the good of the country. This proposal is a good start."
Cooper is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition and New Democrat Coalition.