Governor Abercrombie heads to D.C. for shutdown talks - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Governor Abercrombie heads to D.C. for shutdown talks

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Governor Neil Abercrombie is heading to Washington, D.C. in hopes of protecting Hawaii from more financial hits as the government shutdown drags on. The budget battle in is now in its third week with no end in sight.

House Republican leaders canceled plans for a vote on Tuesday to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. The move led the Senate's top power players to restart their negotiations. All the uncertainty is leaving states in limbo.

"The reason I can't be more specific about it is I have no idea yet from hour to hour what it is that they will put forward," said Abercrombie.

Abercrombie will take his concerns to Capitol Hill. He'll meet with all four members of Hawaii's congressional delegation during the next two days.

"I'm going to Washington to solidify a set of protocols and an infrastructure, if you will, for the delegation, the counties, and the state to be able to act in concert with one another," Abercrombie explained.

The state already started a temporary hiring freeze for vacant positions in some departments to help minimize the impact.

"Every county and all the departments of the state are working day in and day out to try and figure out where we have reserves of funds, where we have any jurisdiction or control over funds at all," said Abercrombie.

Unlike some other states, Hawaii isn't using state or private funds to reopen national parks and monuments to visitors.

"The state just can't write a check to a federal employee to pay their salary or their benefits. There's questions of liability. What if something goes wrong or somebody doesn't do their job correctly?" said Abercrombie.

The governor plans to return to Hawaii on October 20. His visit was added on to a previously scheduled personal trip to the East Coast. According to his office, there is no cost to taxpayers.

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