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Rep. Tom Cole: Shutdown was bad idea, but brighter possibilities are ahead

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Rep. Tom Cole said Thursday that sometimes “a good fight clears the air the little bit” and that upcoming budget talks between “consummate professionals” could be useful in setting long-term fiscal reforms.

Mr. Cole, Oklahoma Republican, also said he never wanted to shut the government down — and he told his GOP colleagues he felt that way — because real people are hurt.

“And second, I didn’t think it was going to be successful,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, referring to a failed attempt to defund Obamacare as part of the deal to reopen the government and raise the debt limit.

He said House Speaker John A. Boehner is more popular within the Republican caucus after the ordeal, despite the challenges he faced in satisfying the centrist and tea party wings of the party.

He is also hopeful that House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, will try to find common ground in forging a new budget for the rest of the year.

“I think we’ve got some pretty good people on both sides of the aisle, of the table,” Mr. Cole said.

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