Colorado's congressional delegation operating with skeleton staffing during shutdown

Calls for Senators Udall and Bennet go unanswered

DENVER - Colorado's congressional delegation is operating with skeleton staffing as the partial government shutdown moves into a third day.

Members of the House of Representatives have staff members answering the phones in their Colorado offices, but calls to Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet's local offices went unanswered.

"Due to the government shutdown, Senator Udall's office is conducting only limited operations related to assisting Colorado flood victims and reopening the government," was the pre-recorded message on Senator Mark Udall’s Denver phone line.

Senator Michael Bennet's message included a political twist.

"Senator Bennet doesn't believe we should shut down the government and this kind of brinksmanship is senseless," said a portion of the recording.

7NEWS requested interviews with both Democratic Senators, but were told they were unavailable.

President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats have rejected the House-passed proposals for funding the government because they all make major changes to Obama's health care law. The president insists that the House follow the Senate and pass a government funding bill that's free of other demands.

After a Wednesday meeting, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said House Republicans keep "moving the goal posts" on a deal. Meanwhile Republican House Speaker John Boehner says President Barack Obama is refusing to negotiate.

While their fight continues, a new Quinnipiac University poll reveals "American voters oppose 72 – 22 percent Congress shutting down the federal government to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare."

While the poll found that Republican voters support the shutdown by a federal margin, 64 percent of the total electorate oppose the strategy of blocking an increase in the nation's debt ceiling as a way to stop Obamacare.

"Americans are certainly not in love with Obamacare, but they reject decisively the claim by Congressional Republicans that it is so bad that it's worth closing down the government to stop it," Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a written statement.

Print this article Back to Top