'Pony up and get it done': Former Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock urges an end to the shutdown

PHOTO: Rep. Barbara Comstock speaks during the news conference at the Capitol with other members of the Heroin Task Force on combating heroin abuse on April 21, 2016.PlayCQ Roll Call via Getty Images, FILE
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Former Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, who has stood up to President Donald Trump when it came to government shutdowns in the past, said "both sides are playing games" at the expense of the country's national security and economy.

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"They need to pony up and get it done," Comstock told Powerhouse Politics podcast host, ABC News' Chief White House and Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl, "and say, 'No more fighting over this or talking about the morality or immorality of a wall.' We know what each side needs to win here, and we need a win for the federal employees."

Comstock, an attorney and former Virginia lawmaker, has previously opposed government shutdowns.

They need to pony up and get it done, and say, 'No more fighting over this or talking about the morality or immorality of a wall.' We know what each side needs to win here, and we need a win for the federal employees.

"We do not need a government shutdown on this," Comstock said during a White House meeting in Feb. 2018, in response to Trump’s insistence to have one if Democrats didn't agree to his immigration plans.

PHOTO: Rep. Barbara Comstock speaks during the news conference at the Capitol with other members of the Heroin Task Force on combating heroin abuse on April 21, 2016. CQ Roll Call via Getty Images, FILE
Rep. Barbara Comstock speaks during the news conference at the Capitol with other members of the Heroin Task Force on combating heroin abuse on April 21, 2016.

"And the real problem we're facing right now is ...you have fewer folks in the middle and you have people on both extremes driving this debate a lot who would rather have an issue than a solution," Comstock said of lawmakers currently entangled in the longest-running government shutdown in U.S. history -- now in its fifth week.

"So it's very much sort of this War of the Roses between mom and dad here and the kids are really suffering."

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Comstock lost her bid for reelection to Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., in November, and said Trump "wants it to be all about him."

PHOTO: Rep. Barbara Comstock, third from left, watches as President Donald Trump speaks to the press before signing H.R. 321 and H.R. 255 in The Oval Office at the White House on Feb. 28, 2017 in Washington. Zach Gibson/Getty Images, FILE
Rep. Barbara Comstock, third from left, watches as President Donald Trump speaks to the press before signing H.R. 321 and H.R. 255 in The Oval Office at the White House on Feb. 28, 2017 in Washington.

Comstock, who called for Trump to drop out of the 2016 presidential race following the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape, has been accused by opponents of being a "Never Trumper." According to FiveThirtyEight, she voted with President Trump 97.8 percent of the time.

At a November press conference, Trump called out Republican lawmakers who lost their races for rejecting his support. Comstock was one of them.

"I think she could have won that race, but she didn't want to have any embrace," Trump said of Comstock. "For that I don't blame her."

Comstock also previously served as the chief counsel on the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee that investigated former President Bill Clinton.

PHOTO: Congresswoman Barbara Comstock talks in her office in the Cannon building Nov. 28, 2017 in Washingto Washington Post via Getty Images, FILE
Congresswoman Barbara Comstock talks in her office in the Cannon building Nov. 28, 2017 in Washingto

"I think this White House is going to probably be a little less experienced on dealing with this than the Clinton White House was," Comstock said of Trump’s administration. "And so that's going to be a challenge. I think they need to do what the Clintons did, is have a team that's … dealing with this so that you and the White House can focus on national security, focus on the agenda.

"And I know so many of us would prefer the president not be tweeting about these investigative things and focusing on the legislative agenda."

Comstock also had a warning for Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform who have vowed to investigate an array of issues and scrutinize Trump.

All the time you spend as a member on that, is time you are not going to be spending on doing the work of your constituents, taking care of you know their concerns on Veterans Affairs, on Social Security, on jobs and all those things. That is your first and foremost job.

"All the time you spend as a member on that, is time you are not going to be spending on doing the work of your constituents, taking care of you know their concerns on Veterans Affairs, on Social Security, on jobs and all those things," she said.

"That is your first and foremost job."

Every Wednesday, ABC Radio and iTunes bring you the Powerhouse Politics Podcast which includes headliner interviews and in-depth looks at the people and events shaping U.S. politics. Hosted by ABC News' Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and ABC News Political Director Rick Klein.