MILWAUKEE (AP) - Rep. Tom Petri said Tuesday that he thinks a government shutdown is unlikely, even though passing legislation to avoid one has been a "ping-pong" process.
The Wisconsin Republican, whose district includes Oshkosh and Fond du Lac, spoke during a visit to Milwaukee with the German ambassador. He voted last week for a House bill that would avoid a partial government shutdown on Oct. 1 while simultaneously canceling funding for Democratic President Barack Obama's signature health care law.
The legislation is now in the Senate, where Democrats plan to rewrite it to restore the money.
"I think the goal is not to shut down the government, the goal is to get a budget that makes some progress at reducing our deficit and hopefully strengthening the foundations for our economy," Petri said. "We're in a - some have described as a sort of a ping-pong process of both between the parties and between some factions within the parties, and some people are saying, 'Why don't you guys just all get together and agree?'"
Petri has been a longtime opponent of the health care law but stopped short Tuesday of saying that he would insist on defunding it, as some tea party-aligned conservatives have done. Instead, he said repeatedly that he thought some kind of compromise would be reached.
"I think it's started to dawn on some of the newer representatives who maybe haven't gone through these shutdowns before that they're going to have to get their job done," he said.
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