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"Disgusted" over shutdown, Maffei says he's working with both sides

Ryan Delaney

Rep. Dan Maffei told constituents Tuesday evening he shares in their frustration over the federal government's shutdown, saying there will be serious consequences if it drags on.

The Democrat from Syracuse even agreed with one caller's claim that Congress' inability to act was "disgusting."

Maffei voted with House Republicans late Monday night for a spending plan that would have, if the Senate had approved it, delayed the individual mandate portion of Obamacare for a year. While trying to strike a bipartisan note, Maffei laid more blame on the G.O.P. than his own party.

"This is simply partisanship. I don’t think there’s any other explanation," he said. "I think it’s true that Republicans, particularly the Tea Party Republicans, are being completely unreasonable, but I think the Democrats also, I believe, should be compromising some."

Maffei said he's working and talking with members of both parties in a group called No Labels.

"We Democrats have to be the bigger guy on this, I think," said Maffei. "I’ve been trying to do that and taking some criticism from some stalwart Democrats is okay."

Two callers on his town hall raised issue over whether members of Congress should continue to be paid if 800,000 federal workers were furloughed.

"We shouldn't accept any pay until this is over with," Maffei responded.

Maffei’s Washington and Syracuse offices will remain open through rotating staff furloughs. His Auburn and Oswego offices will open every other day.