West Virginia lawmakers aren't on the same page when it comes to how the federal government should pay its bills now and in the future.
Last week, President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate did not approve of a measure pushed by House Republicans to fund the government while stripping money from the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare."
Republicans, who control the House, refused to pass a funding measure without some Affordable Care Act provision, leading to a shutdown Oct. 1.
More than a week later, the shutdown persists, and the nation draws closer to the looming debt-ceiling deadline. Experts project the government will reach its limit on the amount of money it can borrow by Oct. 17, despite commitments to fund programs in amounts that exceed that limit.
The three West Virginia representatives in the House favor different approaches to the problems.
Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., supports a measure that funds the government without touching the Affordable Care Act or anything else, also called a "clean" continuing resolution. In a statement, he chastised the "short-sighted, politically driven minority" in Congress sacrificing federal service for negotiating purposes.
Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., opposes any funding measure that doesn't "fix problems" in the Affordable Care Act. Echoing House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, McKinley said he would not support any measure to temporarily fund the government in order to potentially negotiate a long-term solution.
"From past results, we know those negotiations will never happen. That's why we are seeking budget talks now," McKinley said in a statement emailed by a spokesman.
"If you were selling your house, would you hand over your keys before negotiating a price?"
It's not that simple, in the opinion of Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.
The Senate already passed a "clean" funding bill, supported by Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, both D-W.Va, and every other Democrat. Obama and other Democrats say it would also pass in the House right now, but Boehner won't bring the measure to the floor for a vote.
In recent days the Washington Post labeled Capito as one of the few House Republicans "leaning" toward supporting a "clean" funding measure. She did not give a specific answer when asked if she would support one in a phone interview Tuesday with the Daily Mail.
"I did say earlier ... if there was a short term, 5 to 7 day clean CR that would have avoided this shutdown and allowed more negotiating time, I could have gone for that," Capito said.