October 26, 2014

Walker claims there’s blame to go around on shutdown

Who’s to blame for the shutdown of the federal government? Amid reports that House Speaker, Ohio Republican John Boehner would have the necessary votes to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government with defunding Obamcare, President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he was “exasperated” with Republican leaders in Congress and was canceling part of his Asian trip and inviting House and Senate leaders of both parties to the White House.

But Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker stated his belief Wednesday that both sides could share in the blame – and could learn something from the way his administration and lawmakers have worked to solve problems in Wisconsin.

“I think blame can go around for everybody,” Walker said during an appearance at World Dairy Expo in Madison. “The best way to resolve it is to look at what we did in Wisconsin. We had a 3.6 billion dollar budget deficit, we now have more than a half a billion dollar surplus. Every Wednesday – I did it this morning before I came over here – I sit down with the legislative leaders, and we figure out a way to solve the problems that face our state. We have an effective line of communication that opens up, and we get things done.”

AUDIO: Governor Scott Walker :40

“I was surprised to hear that I had a meeting with Governor Walker this morning,” said Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee), who said he has in Milwaukee all day. “I checked my schedule, and the last time we met with Governor Walker was the morning the forced ultrasound bill got jammed through the Senate. That was the last time we sat down with him.” Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca’s office confirmed that date – Wednesday, June 12th – as the last time he and Larson attended a midweek meeting with the governor and GOP leaders. Barca did meet with Walker a week and a-half ago.

“I think not just in Wisconsin, but in states across the country, there’s a lot of governors and lawmakers in both parties, who wish the folks in Washington in both parties would act more like the states and less like our nation’s Capitol,” Walker said at Dairy Expo.

“There’s been more meetings canceled than have gone through,” said Larson. “There’s been times when we come to door and we find out that he’s not in the state. Unfortunately what he’s saying . . . isn’t actually happening.”

Walker’s office confirmed that he met Wednesday with Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. “The governor meets weekly with legislators of both parties throughout the year, as his schedule allows,” Walker Press Secretary Tom Evenson said in an e-mail. “In addition, Governor Walker meets with Democratic leadership on a weekly basis when the legislature is in session, as his schedule allows.” Deputy Communications Secretary Julie Lund e-mailed late Wednesday that Walker is scheduled to meet with both Barca and Larson next week.