Labrador on NPR: ‘We’re not the ones who wanted to shut down the government’

Idaho GOP Congressman Raul Labrador says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is responsible for the government shutdown because he believes it can help Democrats retain control of the Senate and win the House in 2014.

“We’re not the ones who wanted to shut down the government,” Labrador said in an interview with Renee Montagne on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” Wednesday. “You need to remember that. We wanted to keep the government open.

“This entire battle is about Harry Reid making sure that he keeps the Senate and that he wins the House of Representatives. That’s why he wants the shutdown and I fear that that’s why they actually want to breach the debt ceiling at some point. Because they believe that we’re going to get blamed for it.”

Labrador also said he would vote for a one-year budget extension in return for delay of the the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. But, Labrador said, when the health care law was revisited again a year from now, “I think we need to get rid of Obamacare…I won’t be happy with it a year from now.”

Montagne described Labrador as “one of the tea party Republicans at the heart of the group in the House.”

Labrador added that his hopes for immigration reform have been tempered by the budget fight. “It’s not helpful,” he said.


Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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