While shutdown nears end, public frustration lingers

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HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - While lawmakers in Washington, D.C. scrambled to pass a short-term spending bill Monday, hundreds of miles away in Bridgeport, voters said the shutdown has left a sour taste in their mouths.

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"This country has to wake up," said Ronald Bucy, a Bridgeport resident. "On both sides."

Once a life-long Democrat, Bucy voted for President Trump in 2016. He believes that the president and Republicans will address the fate of undocumented immigrants in the near future, but he lambasts Senate Democrats for trying to include a DACA fix in a spending bill.

"You want to tell me that you're going to hold me hostage with issues of illegal aliens, when we're talking about the federal government budget." Bucy said. "I'm sorry. I'm not buying into that."

The government shutdown lasted nearly three days, as Democrats and Republicans attempted to cast blame on each other.

"Why wouldn't [the Republicans] be to blame?" Paul Phillips, a Bridgeport resident argued, citing Republican control of both of the legislative chambers and the White House.

By Friday's midnight deadline, the Senate had failed to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to pass a spending bill.

That's because the majority of Democrats refused to come to an agreement, insisting that a spending bill had to include a measure to permanently protect immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

The spending bill agreed to Monday funds the government until February 8, and Senate Democrats say they have an assurance from Republicans that a debate and vote on an immigration bill will take place before that deadline.

Dr. Greg Noone, a professor of Political Science and Law at Fairmont State University, says the stop-and-start nature of short-term spending bills is emblematic of gridlock on Capitol Hill.

"The people that we send to Washington aren't doing a good enough job at getting their work done on time," Dr. Noone said.

And he cautions that these conversations could surface again in two-and-a-half weeks, when the continuing resolution agreed to Monday expires.

There's more from Dr. Noone in the full story above.