Both Parties Will Suffer Politically from Shutdown, Expert Says [POLL/AUDIO]
There's a lot of mutual fingerpointing in Washington behind this week's federal government shutdown, but the two sides also worry about long-term political fallout from this.
Rutgers/Camden political scientist Richard Harris says early polls on this "stallmate" show essentially that people have a low-level of esteem and trust for government right now. But Harris also says Republicans are bearing the brunt of it.
He cites a long letter written to the House Republican leadership from a traditional GOP supporter, the National Chamber of Commerce, which said that they should pass a 'clean' continuing resolution, and they're going to damage the economy if they continue on this path.
"I do think that one of the difficulties Republicans have in trying to deflect blame to the White House or to the Senate is that the deal that they are proposing is really highly extortionist," Harris explained. "To say if you strip away everything, what they are saying is, 'we will agree to fund the government for four, five or six weeks if you gut the landmark piece of legislation of the Obama administration."
Harris also says both parties will feel the heat from the 800,000 federal workers who are off the job right now, because of the partial shutdown.
He says, for example, folks working at the Joint Base at Fort Dix, who are "non-essential personnel," are on furlough.
According to Harris, "They don't have any pay. That's going to be an immediate effect."