After Congress voted Wednesday night to end a 16-day government shutdown, Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) spoke on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, calling on Republicans to find a middle ground on the country’s budgetary issues.
When asked if the deal to fund the government through mid-January was simply kicking the can down the road, Israel told Cooper that a small compromise is better than none at all.
“We are kicking the can, but better to kick the can then stomp on the can, which is where we were just a few hours ago,” he said in the interview.
He went on to say that he believes Americans are looking for Congress to find a solution to polarizing matters, including the Affordable Care Act, which was the main issue behind the government shutdown.
“I think there’s an unquenchable thirst in this country for finding the middle ground. People have had it with defunding and delaying and repealing and moving backwards,” he said, adding that he is looking forward to a debate with Republicans on things like Medicare, jobs, immigration and balancing budgets responsibly.
He called for an end to shutdowns and showdowns among Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
“I think the American people want us to get beyond that, find that middle ground, learn how to cooperate and move this country forward,” he said.
The bill, which President Barack Obama signed about 12:30 a.m. Thursday, will also raise the debt limit through Feb. 7, 2014.