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NPR: Sen. Begich: Republicans Playing ‘Russian Roulette Economics’

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: For now, though, we turn to the other big story of the day, and that’s the government shutdown. We’re in day three, and there’s little sign of a compromise at this point. Republicans insist they’re willing to negotiate on a spending bill to fund the government. Democrats say a short-term spending bill is no place to negotiate the new health care law.

I spoke with Democratic Senator Mark Begich of Alaska. He’s also a member of the Senate Democratic leadership. Begich insists the House needs to vote to reopen the government and then Democrats will negotiate.

SENATOR MARK BEGICH: We have, you know, voted on every single proposal that’s come over from the House, but one proposal we have sent over there that passed here after great debate, they still haven’t taken up, which would be a clean continuing resolution, which would put the government back in operation. And then we can debate all these other issues. There’s - as you know, there’s not only the issues people have around health care, but, you know, we have a farm bill stuck over there.