EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 4, 2013

Sen. Tarr questions GOP tactics in gov't. shutdown

By Andy Metzger
State House News Service

---- — BOSTON — On the third day of a federal government shutdown, Massachusetts Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr yesterday questioned the approach of Congressional Republicans, who have demanded changes to the Affordable Care Act be added to a spending bill, but said there is “plenty of blame to go around.”

“I’m not so sure that’s the way that I would proceed, but I’m not in Congress, and I’m not in Washington, on the ground making those decisions,” said Tarr, who contemplated a run for U.S. Senate this year. “I think it’s incumbent to find a way forward. I think they have some reasonable concerns, and I think that folks should listen to those concerns. But I’m not sure that holding up all of these other things is the right approach.”

As the U.S. House and Senate were unable to agree to a spending bill and the Senate and Obama Administration said delays to Obamacare stood no chance of becoming law, non-essential government employees were sent home Tuesday, leaving Social Security service offices and National Parks unstaffed.

Tarr, a Gloucester Republican, said he is concerned about the shutdown’s effect on fishing regulations, veterans’ benefits and Social Security.