Mark Pryor Back in Arkansas, Says Shut Down "Embarrassed America - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Mark Pryor Back in Arkansas, Says Shut Down "Embarrassed America"

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Democratic Senator Mark Pryor was back in Arkansas today after 16 days of negotiation during the federal government shut down. Pryor was a member of the group of 14 bipartisan senators lead by Susan Collins (ME-R) who helped usher in a deal last night.

Pryor told Channel 7 News that a lot went on behind the closed doors of negotiations.

"We walked in there in the first meeting. John McCain was very clear, he said you know whatever we agree to, that doesn't mean the leaders agree to this. I said yeah, we're the plan B, but the problem is John, there's no plan A," Pryor said.

Pryor said the group of 14 eventually brought six solutions to the senate leadership, four of which were accepted by the leadership.

Pryor didn't mince words when reflecting back why he believes the shut down occurred.

"There's a small group of Republicans in the house that have been driving the train. And they bragged for weeks and weeks and weeks they were going to shut down the government and they did. They shut it down for 16 days. And they brought us within a day of default on our obligations. In the process of doing this, they hurt the us economy," Pryor said.

Pryor said the Republicans came across as "childish and petty."

"They embarrassed America. They really did embarrass America and by virtue of them doing this, what they're doing is they're sapping the confidence in our country. They're also diminishing America's prestige abroad. And that is unforgivable. We cannot allow that to happen again," Pryor said.

Mark Pryor will be defending his seat for Senate against Republican Congressman Tom Cotton in 2014. Cotton told Channel 7 today in a statement that it's Pryor who was not willing to negotiate.

"I voted for compromise measures in the House that would have simply delayed the individual mandate under Obamacare for one year, the same treatment the Administration is giving large employers.  I voted for another compromise bill that would simply have removed the special health care subsides for Congress.  Senator Pryor opposed those compromise measures and opposed even going to Conference with the House to negotiate an agreement. It's hard to have confidence in a lawmaker like that," Cotton said.