Shutdown Entering Week Three, Some Sens and Reps Maintaining In- - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Shutdown Entering Week Three, Some Sens and Reps Maintaining In-State Event Schedule

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SMYRNA, Del.- The partial government shutdown is entering its third week as the threat of default looms. Even with all this turmoil in Washington, part of Delaware's congressional delegation is still maintaining an in-state, public events schedule.

Sen. Chris Coons was in Smyrna Monday morning for the ribbon cutting of a revamped Heron Run apartment complex - a partially federally-funded project. It's the kind of event where it's very normal to see Sen. Coons or Sen. Tom Carper or Rep. John Carney. But these aren't exactly normal times for the federal government.

At 11:30 AM Monday there was a gathering under a tent on the front lawn of the apartment complex. It had an atmosphere so different from the current craziness in Washington DC.

"We're not in session at the moment," Sen. Coons said. "This is the last event I'm doing in Delaware today - Columbus Day, which was to be federal holiday. We're all going back in the Senate later this afternoon."

Coons went right from Smyrna to Washington DC. The Senate convened at 2 PM. But work happens in DC even when the senate or house isn't actually convened.

WBOC Question: Couldn't there be time spent doing behind stuff, talking to people if you were there now?

Coons: "I have been meeting with Republican colleagues every day for the past ten days and making a variety of proposals. At this point negotiations between the House and Senate are really in the hands of our respective leaders - Sens. McConnell and Reid and their staffs are hammering out what they can."

Opinions in Dover were mixed on whether Delaware's congressional delegation should still be attending in-state events with the government still partially shutdown.

"IIf he was in Washington," said John Hannibal, of Dover. "Instead of where he is, I doubt if any of the government business would be going on any faster."

"I would rather he be in Washington DC doing what's important," Becki Leslie, of Dover, said. "Getting the government back in business."

At the event in Smyrna, Gov. Jack Markell told Coons he appreciated his presence at a local event despite the current, significant challenges in Washington.

"I know that when you're down there, you take this out of the realm of just politics into the realm of what this means for real people. So, we're really grateful for you taking the time to be with us today."

WBOC spoke with the offices of Rep. Carney and Sen. Carper. They say Carney attended a Columbus Day mass and breakfast before heading to DC.  Carper went to DC Monday morning and had no public events. In fact, his office sent out a note on day one of the shutdown saying all state events were suspended during the shutdown.

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