Lew: Deal to end shutdown was ‘turning point’

October 20, 2013

The government shutdown was costly and cannot happen again when Congress resumes fiscal talks, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

"The message that we have to send going forward is that there was a turning point on Wednesday night and this won't happen again -- it can't happen again," Lew said.

Lew said some Republicans are to blame for the stalemate that resulted in the partial government closure, saying “there was a faction, particularly in the House, who took control of some of the direction of this debate."

"I would just look to what Republican leaders have said themselves, about how inadvisable it is and how it can't happen again," Lew added.

The treasury secretary said the shutdown and the threat of a debt default proved financially costly for the government and the economy, although he stopped short of talking specific numbers.

“I can’t give you a number today of what it is -- I know the direction,” Lew said. “The direction is, it took an economy that is fighting hard to get good economic growth going to create jobs for the American people, and it took it in the wrong direction. Our job in Washington is to move things in the right direction.”

Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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Josh Hicks · October 20, 2013