Some Staten Island residents are not happy with their Republican congressman Michael Grimm.
Grimm was one of the House representatives whose vote against the final continuing resolution Monday night prompted a government shutdown that has left an estimated 800,000 government employees furloughed.
The Staten Island Democratic Party organized a protest outside Grimm's Staten Island district office Tuesday afternoon. Executive Director Kevin Elkin explained the rally was "a continuation of a protest that was held on Friday."
"We strongly urged the congressman to show some leadership and common sense and push his colleagues" to avoid a shutdown, Elkin said. "Obviously, that didn't happen."
Elkin blasted Grimm and his colleagues for their "reckless" actions, accusing them of carelessly damaging the "lives, economic livelihood, plans and families" of their constituents.
He accused Grimm of "neglecting any and all responsibility and saying it's the Senate's fault," and contemptuously noted that Grimm "voted with Ted Cruz."
Elkin said they had hoped the GOP congressman would have voted with the "common sense Republicans" who had voted for the resolution, citing Peter King as an example of one such Republican who Grimm is "normally allied with."
"Peter King said it's the Republicans' fault," Elkin explained. "I think Peter King deserves a lot of credit."
Elkin and other Staten Island Democrats have repeatedly called out Grimm for changing his position on various issues, from intervention in Syria to Obamacare, which Elkin said Grimm supported before he "about-faced... which is typical for him."
"He was at an event promoting Obamacare [recently]; now he's shutting down the government based on Obamacare," Elkin said. "I don't know if he got some political pressure or something."
Elkin suggested Grimm "sit in a room by himself and figure out what his positions are."
"He's giving everybody whiplash" with his flip-flopping, he added.
Grimm's Communications Director Carol Danko said the congressman was insistent on a short-term resolution so that negotiations could continue.
"The congressman voted against the final [continuing resolution] because it did not contain a provision for a short-term CR to give us time to negotiate a deal without shutting down the government," Danko said in an e-mail. "The congressman does not support a shutdown and has pledged support for a clean CR."
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