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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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October 11th, 2013
05:35 PM ET

GOP senator: Government shutdown was 'a dumb idea'

As a deal to temporarily lift the nation's debt ceiling is being hammered out, there still remains the problem of the government shutdown.

Why not reopen the U.S. government along with the short-term debt ceiling raise?

"I think that's the point we're at. I think those who thought the shutdown was a good idea have now learned it's not a very good idea. In fact, it's a dumb idea," said Republican Senator Johnny Isakson, of Georgia.

"We need to open the government," said Isakson. "A very short-term debt ceiling increase is not a real good idea because you're just pushing off the debate we're having now to right before Thanksgiving."

House Republicans are reportedly trying to start a bigger budget deal that includes cuts to entitlement programs and tax reform, while also removing smaller sequester spending restraints and increasing spending. The latter would please Democrats who want higher spending levels, but would require some hard cuts down the road.

"It's something we should consider. We should consider everything now," said Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, of Ohio.

"I think, though, we never want to send a message that if you want to repeal a law, whether it's Obamacare or something else, you don't get more at the bargaining table by threatening to shut the government down, or threatening to default," said Brown.

Both Brown and Isakson said the shutdown has had terrible effects on the economy, inflicted a lot of suffering on furloughed federal employees around the country, and dealt a hard blow to government agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

House Republicans did introduce – and pass – piece meal spending bills to restore funding to certain programs, but the Senate did not take them up.

"Them offering those ideas was a good thing for them to do, but it was also a confession they all of a sudden understand shutting down the government was not a very good idea," said Isakson. "When you talk about NIH, CDC, not paying our military, the burial proceeds for our fallen soldiers – those were terrible consequences of the shutdown."

For more of our interview with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, watch the video above.

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