Will the Republican Party pay price for the government shutdown?

October 17, 2013 (CHICAGO)

"It's better to be anywhere outside of Washington," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

Surrounded by home state Democrats at a CTA news conference, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said Republicans in Washington had blown it.

"The Republican strategy of shutting down the government, running the risk of defaulting on our debt was a complete disaster," said Sen. Durbin.

On Wednesday, 14th District Congressman Randy Hultgren was the only Illinois Republican on Capitol Hill to vote against the bill to re-open the government and temporarily raise the debt ceiling.

"The further we get in debt the more difficult it becomes to have these discussions. Now is the time to do that," said Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Winfield).

All other Illinois Republicans abandoned the Tea Party at a price. The conservative Americans for limited government wrote of DuPage Congressman Peter Roskam: "When it counted, Rep. Roskam was nowhere to be found in the fight to defund Obamacare."

"If we say Obamacare is as bad as it is, and it is that bad, then are we just content to wave the flag or are we going to advance our flag?" said Dan Proft, Republican analyst.

"They seem to be marching to a different drummer than the rest of the country," said John Peterson, Mokena.

At rainy Federal Plaza, government workers picketed and blamed Republicans controlled by the Tea Party.

"Basically, they don't like the fact that we have an African-American President," said Heriberto Leon, federal worker.

ABC7's Charles Thomas asked Senator Durbin if he thought the GOP would pay a price in the 2014 mid-term elections.

"Let the voters make that decision. The numbers suggest the voters believe they're responsible for it," said Sen. Durbin.

"President Obama's approval rating is under 40% for the first time in his presidency so everybody has taken on water over the last couple of weeks, and rightly so," said Proft.

With another government shutdown possible in mid-December and the debt ceiling lifted only until February 7th of next year, there could be re-plays of both controversies within weeks. If this does extend into 2014, most experts say there's no doubt it would have a huge impact on the elections.

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