Even so, with Republicans controlling the governor’s office and holding supermajorities in the House and Senate, a shutdown in Indiana is highly improbable.
Now, far from the threat of dysfunction, Indiana’s top lawmakers pride themselves on the state’s ability to get work done.
If only Washington had the same approach.
A few years after Indiana’s surprising showdown, the federal government closed twice amid high-profile bickering between former President Bill Clinton and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. And now, 17 years later, Washington is entering the second week of its shutdown.
Amid the partisan back and forth, a rare area of unity has become praising the federal workers now out of work.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly and Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Coats signed onto a joint letter last week seeking to reinstate pay for National Guard members, and both men opened their speeches last week with praise for first responders following a Capitol Hill car chase and shooting that left a Connecticut woman dead. Coats called the shutdown a “pox upon both our houses.”
Whether anyone’s listening long enough to work together remains to be seen.
Tom LoBianco covers Indiana politics for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/tomlobianco.