Inslee: Federal Shutdown Hurting Washington
SEATTLE (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee said Sunday that the impacts from a partial federal government shutdown are already being felt across the state of Washington.
Inslee, a Democrat, squarely blamed House Republicans and told reporters at a news conference Sunday that the problems could be easily fixed if House Speaker John Boehner would bring a clean temporary spending bill up for a vote without conditions.
"We cannot allow this inexplicable hatred of giving people health insurance to lead us into economic crisis," Inslee said. "That's where we're headed."
Boehner has insisted that President Barack Obama must negotiate if the president wants to end the shutdown and avert the first-ever default on the government's debt, which could trigger a financial crisis and recession.
The government shutdown entered its sixth day Sunday with hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed, national parks closed and an array of government services on hold.
Inslee said he is worried that the continued shutdown is slowing the state's aerospace industry, hurting veterans' programs and affecting services such as unemployment payments that depend on federal money.
Washington is using state money to continue services in the near term, but Inslee worried about how long the state could do that.
"There's significant potential for this to get much worse very soon," he said.
The governor was joined in Seattle by a business owner and several people who work with veterans who described the consequences that the shutdown was having for veterans and others.
Casey Ingels of Lakewood-based Tactical Tailor, which makes gear for military and law enforcement, said he has had to lay off 75 employees because of the shutdown.
"We owe our federal employees and contracting employers some predictability," he said, adding that it was having a devastating impact on the company.