WASHINGTON - Federal lawmakers from West Virginia expressed a need for the federal government to remain operational and avoid a shutdown.
The Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as "Obamacare," is the apparent linchpin to determine how things will proceed.
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said the Senate has moved forward with a bipartisan continuing resolution, while House Republicans are continuing to play games with the nation's economy.
''Sadly, we've been here before, on the brink of a government shutdown that risks putting West Virginians and our fragile economic recovery in jeopardy,'' Rockefeller said. ''A non-functioning government will have very real effects on the American people. In some cases they'll be very hurtful.
''We do an extraordinary disservice to every West Virginian and every American who relies on the services our government provides by refusing to compromise. We must not go down this road again and risk disrupting the everyday lives of our families and our businesses because of political gamesmanship and posturing."
U.S. Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., recently returned to Washington, D.C., at the request of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to be available for crucial votes to keep the government running while fighting against the President's health care law, which he called "unworkable."
McKinley said he canceled meetings, town hall events and roundtables in the district to come back to the nation's capital and work on these issues. The House will likely be voting Saturday and Sunday.
"The ball is in the Senate's court," McKinley said. "The House passed legislation to keep the government running through Dec. 15 and defund Obamacare. It's time for (Sen.) Harry Reid and the Senate to step up to the plate and make tough decisions. The American people have overwhelmingly told us Obamacare is costing jobs and increasing health care costs for families," McKinley said.
"The House is standing up for Americans while working to defund, delay or dismantle the President's failed health care law," said McKinley. "We are ready to respond to what Harry Reid and the Democratic leadership send back.
"In the meantime, we will pass a debt limit increase tied to reforms that will help our economy, including a one-year delay of Obamacare. The House passed legislation last week to keep the government running and defund Obamacare and is waiting now on the Senate to act,'' McKinley said.
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he has had concerns over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the cost and choices West Virginians will have in the health care exchanges, as well as opposing the individual mandate.
''That being said, I do not believe that this issue should be used to shut down the government, and I will not vote to shut down the government,'' Manchin said. ''We need to work together as Americans to solve these problems so we can get our economy back on track and create American jobs."