Divisions in Congress over funding the federal government are becoming apparent in Arkansas. Pat Hays, the former mayor of North Little Rock for 24 years, is criticizing Republican Congressman Tim Griffin’s role in the government shutdown crisis.
Hays said the issue of funding the Affordable Care Act was settled when it became the law of the land and says it’s clear Griffin doesn’t have the votes needed to defund it.
“Be straightforward and let the votes stand. If you win you win, if you lose you lose and you go on to the next issue. You don’t try and backdoor it every time you turn around,” said Hays.
Hays served as mayor for nearly 25 years, including during shutdowns in 1995 and ’96 that he said hurt his city. He said it’s wrong to risk damaging towns and cities across Arkansas just because Griffin and others don’t like the federal health care law.
Griffin said he is against a shutdown and he's working with House leaders to craft new legislation.
“Without getting into too many details I’ll just tell you I think we can achieve a lot of our goals on the Affordable Care Act with the plan that we have and will roll out in the next 24 hours,” said Griffin.
Griffin maintains that while he is against a shutdown, he also wants to find a way to defund the federal health care law. The votes in the Senate suggest those two ideas can not be reconciled.
When asked if in the event for a funding bill to pass it must include funds for the Affordable Care Act Griffin would not explicitly say he would refuse to vote for it.
Hays is accusing Griffin of playing political games over the health care law and that he should accept it as the law of the land.