Government shutdown puts squeeze on Republican moderates

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NEW HANOVER TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Kenn Challender, a Republican, is not thrilled with Obamacare.

But this week, he’s a lot more worried about how he’s going to pay the mortgage and feed his three children. The government shutdown has temporarily cost him his job as a civilian aircraft mechanic at a nearby military base.

“I talked to the bank, and they said the best they could do would be to waive the late fee,” said Challender, 33, standing underneath the American flag on his front step. “There’s nothing I can do about it now.”


Rep. Jon Runyon is one of seven House Republicans from New Jersey and Pennsylvania to say it’s time to end the party’s efforts to stop healthcare law.

This pocket of small-town New Jersey, mostly Republican and deeply dependent on nearby Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, is filled with military retirees and now, with the shutdown, thousands of angry, idled workers like Challender.

That is putting a tough political squeeze on Jon Runyan, the former NFL tackle who represents this town in Congress, and a handful of other Republican lawmakers from the Philadelphia region — part of a small and dwindling band of GOP moderates.

“Jon is sort of torn between party loyalty and what’s good for his district,” said Carl Golden, a former spokesman for two Republican New Jersey governors and an analyst with the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy in Galloway, N.J. “I’m sure he can’t be happy right now, the way this thing is going.”

For more on this LA Times story, click here.

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  • S_Hunter

    I like that everyone is blaming the GOP instead of laying EQUAL BLAME on obuma and his cronies for not negotiating. He is the FIRST president we've had that will not negotiate. SOUNDS LIKE A DICTATOR AND NOT A PRESIDENT TO ME! Him and the demo's not negotiating is EQUALLY to blame for this and they make the poor people suffer while blaming the GOP. IT'S ALL OF THE CONGRESS'S FAULT!

    • Voter

      This is a Republican work stoppage/shutdown – they caused it and own it 100%. They already did the negotiating, but that wasn't enough for the tea dummies. There's nothing more to negotiate. GOP is a bunch of lazy idiots wasting time and my money over an issue that was decided years ago. The election decided the Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court signed-off on it. Time to get back to work in DC.

    • Anonymous

      I called them and told them to keep fighting against a horrendous piece of legislation that has been shoved down the American people’s throats.

      Funny thing is that Republicans are signing piecemeal bills to get certain parts up and running again, like NIH and the Democrats keeps squashing it so they can “stick it to those evil GOP politicians”. The Democrats main objective is to destroy the opposition. It’s so much easier to raise taxes, pass entitlement programs unchecked!

  • danfinrud

    Lets see IF you are a democrat have not passed a single budget bill since 2010. You are not blamed for not doing your job. IF you are a republican that wants to help the American People from the damage to the economy due to Obamacare you are guilty of destroying the economy. Like every Democrat Government run program. Tons of waste and fraud. No attempt to fix the issues. Remember no attempt going after fraud in Social Security and Medicare unless Obama got a large tax increase. He got the large tax increase. Largest in History and no attempt to go after the fraud and abuse of those systems. He is perfect. No issues at all. Obamacare is just another tax bill like Social security that will be used to buy more votes. And very few services because they will divert the money to other programs. Just like Obamacare diverts billions of dollars from medicare to ObamaCare even though Medicare is running out of money. Bankrupt Medicare which provides health coverage for the elderly to pay for others who are not retired. Great Program.

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