Ben Sasse, Deb Fischer

Sens. Ben Sasse and Deb Fischer

Republican and Democratic leaders in Nebraska are predictably blaming each other for the federal government shutdown that began Saturday.

Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse both voted yes alongside 43 other Republican senators on a spending bill Friday night that would have prevented the shutdown.

“I’m disappointed the Senate was unable to work together to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years, take care of our military, and keep the government open," Fischer said in a statement Saturday. "I voted for this measure and I am a cosponsor of a bill to extend the CHIP program. I strongly believe we need to get this done for children in Nebraska and across the nation.”

Sasse — who as a candidate, said he would have voted no on the bipartisan agreement to reopen the federal government during the last shutdown in 2013 — also echoed disappointment on Saturday. 

"This garbage is what happens when Washington isn’t serious about budgeting year after year," Sasse said. 

Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb blamed the Republican party for the federal government shutdown, pointing to "one-party control at the state and national level."

“The Republican Party is incapable of governing for the people," Kleeb said. "We are organizing block captains all across our state to end one-party rule and to end the reckless shutdown of our government."

Senatorial candidate Jane Raybould said the shutdown is an "example of the deficiency of moral leadership in Washington."

"Sen. Fischer, hand-in-hand with (Sen.) Mitch McConnell, have brought our nation’s government to a screeching halt, refusing to find compromise—a role that they were elected to do," Raybould said in a release.

Fischer served in the U.S. Senate during the 2013 shutdown.

"In the second time in less than four years, Sen. Fischer shouldn’t get paid because she didn’t do the job we elected her to do,” Raybould said. "The people of Nebraska will remember Sen. Fischer's failure to find compromise in the face of this government shutdown."

Rep. Don Bacon called for compromise on Saturday, and said it was "shameful" for members of Congress to be paid salaries during a shutdown while other federal workers have pay withheld.

"Government shutdowns reflect dysfunction and hyper partisanship," Bacon said in a release. "This is a time for statesmanship and not partisanship."

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