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Sunday February 14th, 2016 1:01AM
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Collins hopeful for short-term budget resolution

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - While North Georgia Congressman Doug Collins said he can't predict how many days the partial government shutdown will last, he does believe that Democrats and Republicans can at least come to a short term agreement to get the government running again.

Collins was a guest on the Thursday edition of WDUN's Morning Talk, and he said he's hopeful some type of resolution will come out of meetings between top House Republicans and President Obama.

"That means we may all not get what we want but, best we can, we all try to push forward our proposals to come to an agreement," said Collins.

Still, the Gainesville Republican pointed the finger of blame mostly at the White House. He said instead of negotiating in good faith to reach a budget agreement, Democrats have taken actions that inconvenience Americans. He pointed to federal park closures as a case in point.

"When you go through the path between Cherokee (N.C.) and Gatlinburg (TN) and they block off scenic overlooks? I mean, that's a safety issue!," said Collins.

"[Some] Democrats have actually said 'Well, you should have expected this.' I mean, frankly, I just don't expect an administration to do things and go out of their way to make stuff hard."

Collins said also that while the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is certainly a measure that Republicans don't want to fund, the budget argument is about more than that one measure.

"The issue that we've got right now is that 80-percent of our spending is on auto-pilot. It's not budgeted," said Collins.

NOTE: Just after Collins made his comments on WDUN, the Associated Press reported House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans will move ahead with legislation to temporarily extend the government's ability to borrow to meet its obligations. But he said President Barack Obama will have to agree to negotiate over reopening the government and to "start to deal with America's pressing problems." President Obama has said consistently that Republicans must reopen the government and prevent the threat of a first-ever government default before he'll negotiate over the budget and other conditions Republicans have sought.
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