Gov. Scott Walker: No Government Shutdown Over Obamacare

Susan Jones | August 19, 2013 | 8:04am EDT
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Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.)

( - Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker says he has "real problems" with Obamacare, but he does not advocate a government shutdown to block it.

"People want things to work," Walker told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on  Monday.

"I think that most Americans, even if they don't like the size and growth of government, they still want something to work -- something very fundamental to work. And that's the differnce between Washington and the states. At the state level, we may want, as Republican governors, less government, but we want the government that we have to work."

When it comes to sequestration -- the deep, automatic budget cuts spread over ten years, divided equally between defense and various domestic spending programs -- Walker said Washington should follow the lead of the states.

In February, when Walker and other governors met with the president, Wallker says he advised Obama, "You should do with your cabinet what we've done over the last couple of years in states all across America; and that is, if you don't like the sequester plan, have your Cabinet put together an alternative plan, and then find a better way to do that."

Next month, President Obama faces another showdown with Congress over the budget sequester and the debt limit. Some conservative Republicans insist on de-funding Obamacare, even if it means Democrats would shut down the government.

Walker said he advocates giving more power to the states in the form of block grants for things such as Medicaid and education, for example: "The more that power is pushed to the states, and ultimately to the local level, the better off we are. The more it's pulled in and gravitates toward Washington, doesn't matter if it's Democrat or the end, more power concentrated in Washington, I don't think it's a good thing for anybody in America."

In response to a question, Walker told MSNBC that Republican leaders at the state level (there are 30 Republican governors) are doing "three big things" that Republicans in Washington are not doing:

He  summed it up as optimism, relevance, and courage:

"State leaders are more optimistic than our friends in Washington," Walker said. "We're not just against something -- we're laying out a plan, we're laying out a don't just sit back and nick the other side, you lay out a plan."

Walker said Republican governors also "talk in terms that are more relevant." While discussions about sequester and budget deficits go over people's heads, the Republican governors are talking about "making our kids' schools better, we talk about balancing our budget so we can live within our means, we talk about helping our neighbor get a job again."

And the third thing is courage, he said. "I think unfortunately, a lot of American voters just look at Washington and they don't think anyone's had the courage to do anything..."


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