ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Will Congress allow a lack of funding to shut down the federal government?
That's the threat from some House Republicans.
But New Mexico's sole Republican in Congress says the fears of a shut down are wildly overstated.
News 13 sat down with Congressman Steve Pearce on Tuesday afternoon.
With a little more than a week to go before the federal government runs out of money, the Republican-controlled house voted Friday to continue funding the government through mid-December, while at the same time defunding Obamacare.
It's a move some House Republicans made after vowing to kill the sweeping health care legislation even if it means a government shut down.
“I think there are people who would do that, but when we get in our large gathering talking about it, it's never reached the point where we say 'OK, we've got to consider this option,' “ said Pearce, who voted for the measure.
He makes no apology for the strategy of stripping funding from Obamacare, legislation that has already been passed by Congress.
“That's the main thing the House of Representatives is supposed to do – initiate the funding. We can move funding in and out of programs all the time. That's our job so I don't consider it to be wrong or somehow back door at all,” Pearce said.
He says fears of government shut down are wildly overstated.
“We believe that we should live with a balanced budget, that we should be moving back toward that, but they understand that we can't get there in one day, one year,” he said.
In any event, the House resolution is unlikely to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate.
But with just days now before the government runs out of money, the pressure is on the Senate to produce its own plan.
The final Senate version will have to be reconciled with the House bill and there is not much time.
The new fiscal year for the federal government starts next Tuesday.
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