Colorado governor to Congress: 'You've got to have a certain level of empathy'

Colorado’s governor said the federal government shutdown was hurting his state’s efforts to clean up after record flooding last month.


“It’s amazing,” said Gov. John Hinkelooper. “[If] you want to start appreciating all the things that the federal government does for those people who are most at risk, have a major disaster and then take away all those services.”

For example, the Democrat said, about 20 million gallons of raw sewage had been spilled into Colorado’s waterways during the flooding, but testing for E. coli had been cut when federal workers were furloughed during the congressional impasse over funding.

“We're going to have some sick kids almost, for sure, just because of the shutdown," Hinkenlooper told “Top Line.” "My question to the knuckleheads in Congress is, if you're going to represent people, you've got to have a certain level of empathy. You can't hold these people in need as hostages for your debate, right? Find the compromise.”

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers remain furloughed after House Republicans failed to deliver a funding resolution for Senate consideration that did not defund or delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“It's daunting to look at how divisive the relationships are in Washington right now,” said Hickenlooper, who has been mentioned as a potential Democratic candidate for president in 2016. “It’s hard to imagine anyone could go in there and make a difference.”