From the time I was a 20 year-old business owner, I have been at negotiating tables.
In fact, in business the only way you can be successful is if you negotiate because you cannot get 100 percent of what you want. The world just doesn’t work that way and neither does our government.
In business, you have to know who you are and the values your company stands for.
You must also approach any negotiations knowing how much you want and how much you are actually willing to accept.
This week the federal government shut down because President Obama and Senate Leader Harry Reid refused to negotiate with the House.
In the weeks leading up to the shutdown, we saw President Obama negotiate with none other than Russia in order to avoid a crisis in Syria that the President himself backed our country into.
Yet the President has not come to negotiate with leaders of his own government in order to come to an agreement that will move the country forward. So far, the President’s only message to Congress has been to raise the debt ceiling and to continue funding government that includes Obamacare - even though we will not be able to afford the estimated $1.4 trillion price tag for his government-run program.
In the Senate, they are also unwilling to negotiate. Instead of coming to the table to hash out differences, Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats are launching highly scripted verbal attacks against Republicans. None of this is productive and none of it is moving our country forward.
In recent days, our offices in both Oklahoma and Washington, D.C. have received numerous phone calls regarding the shutdown, the budget, the debt ceiling and Obamacare. People want to know what we are doing to resolve these issues.
Furthermore, the uncertainty of a government shutdown adversely affects so many Oklahomans who rely on the stability of their paycheck or the benefits they receive. There are many unfortunate consequences of this shutdown.
In the House we voted several times before funding expired to not only continue to fund government, but also to protect Americans from the harmful effects of Obamacare.
We have listened to the American people and I have listened to my constituents who tell me to stay strong and not to cave in on Obamacare.
There is a real difference between negotiation and compromise. I will negotiate to move this country forward, but not compromise the values I was elected by our district to represent.
President Obama and his Senate Democrats must come to the table and negotiate seriously with the House.
It cannot be simply for show or with the expectation they will get 100 percent of what they want. I quickly learned that lesson when I was 20 years-old.
All egos and political agendas must be checked at the door in order to find real solutions and put country first.
It will take all three entities to get America moving forward again.
Markwayne Mullin is a U. S. Representative for the 2nd District of Oklahoma.