Miss. lawmakers may have to explain shutdown vote

It’s been almost two weeks since Mississippi lawmakers voted on legislation to end the government shutdown, but they may be explaining those votes for months to come, political experts say.

That’s because the deal ending the shutdown and extending the nation’s debt ceiling is expected to be an issue during next year’s campaigns.

“It will have to be part of the discussion … The shutdown is symbolic of the situation in Washington that the public perceives as being a complete breakdown of the ability of our federal government to get anything done,” said Rickey Cole, chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party. “Whichever way a member voted — they’re going to have to answer for it.”

In Mississippi, Republican Rep. Alan Nunnelee and Rep. Steven Palazzo voted against the legislation to end the shutdown. Republican Rep. Gregg Harper and Rep. Bennie Thompson, the state’s lone Democrat in Congress, voted for it, as did Republican Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker.

Gannett