Friday September 20, 2013 | 03:31 PM

WASHINGTON – Maine Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree both voted against a Republican-crafted proposal on Friday that would keep government doors open after Oct. 1 but would eliminate funding for Obamacare.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where Democrats are expected to strip out the Obamacare language and send the temporary budget bill back to the House. The political gamesmanship between the two chambers is raising the specter of a partial-shutdown of the federal government beginning Oct. 1.

Maine’s two representatives – both Democrats – released the following statements after Friday’s vote:

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-District 1:

"We can see the effects of the sequester already in Maine on seniors, children and working families.  If these indiscriminate budget cuts continue, it will threaten shipbuilding at BIW and the shipyard in Kittery and will cost this country over a million and a half jobs," Pingree said.  "But instead of focusing on creating jobs, this bill doubles down on the sequester and makes it permanent at least through the end of this year . . .

"Health care reform was debated in two presidential elections, in Congress and at the Supreme Court.  And it's the law of the land, but Tea Party Republicans can't seem to let go of their obsession with repealing and undermining it," Pingree said.  "And now they are holding the economy hostage to try and get what they want."

Disclosure: Pingree is married to S. Donald Sussman, majority shareowner of Maine Today Media, which publishes the Portland Press Herald, the Kennebec Journal and the Morning Sentinel.

Rep. Mike Michaud, D-District 2:

“Instead of sitting down to work out a compromise with the White House and Senate, House leaders chose to put forward a bill that has no chance of getting past the Senate or being signed by the President. So now talk of a government shutdown will heat up and we’ll again be forced, through a manufactured crisis, to put off acting on something passable until the last possible moment.

“This is no way to govern, and the brinksmanship must end. House leadership’s ill-conceived approach furthers a pattern of dysfunction that is frustrating, unneeded, and bad for our economy.”

Michaud is a Democratic candidate for governor in 2014.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or kmiller@mainetoday.com

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