‘Top Line’ — The Week that Washington Fell Apart

By Jonathan Blakely

Feb 12, 2010 1:42pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Washington has rarely felt more dysfunctional than it did this week — with a record-breaking snowstorm locking down a city that was already paralyzed by partisan warfare and early case of midterm election fever. And just when there were glimmers of bipartisanship, with lawmakers working together to craft a jobs bill, those embers were quickly extinguished under the realities of the Senate. We chatted about the wild week that was on ABC’s “Top Line” today with Ed O’Keefe, who writes the “Federal Eye” blog for The Washington Post.

 He pointed out that the lack of movement is now likely to stretch at least another week, with lawmakers out of town for a break around Presidents Day. “The fear, of course, is that with lawmakers going home next week for the Presidents Day recess, they may hear yet again from their constituents who are angry. They may come back even more nervous, and some of them may back out of these agreements,” O’Keefe told us. “They’re politically sensitive [issues], and the longer they hang out there …unresolved, the longer it remains a problem for lawmakers on both sides.” And today was the week’s only work day for most federal workers — with a snowed-under Washington region likely to lead to a reexamination of government shutdown policies.
“The government’s going to have to go back and reassess how they can do this in the future, because this was a pretty big storm and certainly sidelined a lot of different projects,” O’Keefe said. Also today, we chatted with Rick Goldsmith, the co-director of the new Oscar-nominated film, “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.” Watch that portion of “Top Line” HERE.


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