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Utah congressmen dig in as government shutdown likely



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"Right now I feel very positive about this," Bishop said. "This is something Democrats in the Senate should not oppose."

The White House said that if Obama were presented with the House-passed measure, he would veto it. It was a non-threat, though, since the Senate isn’t likely to pass it.

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Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said Senate Democrats should at least bring it up.

"Why don’t we try something new, let’s vote," Chaffetz said. "The president keeps saying he was elected, well, so were we. I think they ought to take the vote."

The Senate, though, isn’t even expected to take a vote, and as the potential government closure nears, government agencies outlined plans on what employees were essential and pointed out various programs that would be curtailed. Members of Congress will continue to be paid even if the government shuts down.

Ironically, the government will also continue to implement the Affordable Care Act and Americans will be able to start signing up for health care on the same day the government could shutter.

Utah’s members did point to a silver lining in the House-passed funding bill, the removal of a medical device tax that is part of the health care law but that industry officials say helps foreign competitors and hurts small businesses.

The 2.3 percent excise tax came under fire from both Republicans and Democrats and Sen. Orrin Hatch and Matheson had led the charge to eliminate it.

Utah is home to several medical device businesses that have fought the new tax.

tburr@sltrib.com


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