The shutdown is in its 10th day and is happening because ardent conservative Republicans refuse to pass a spending bill that doesn't strip funding for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. President Barack Obama says he won't negotiate on defunding his health-care law.
Jenkins spent part of her Thursday morning at a press conference put on by the No Labels Problem Solvers, a bipartisan group of lawmakers who think their colleagues should work together to find a solution.
Here's what Jenkins had to say afterward:
I have been working with House leadership and the Problem Solvers to develop a reasonable solution to put an end to this government shutdown. We have a system of checks and balances in this country, and in a divided government, everyone's voice has to be heard. Neither side can set the rules and get everything it wants.
Let's talk about checks and balances. Congress has the power to pass laws. That's what happened when it passed Obamacare in 2009.
The president has a check on Congress' power to pass laws by vetoing them. That never happened to Obamacare.
Congress has a check on the president's power to veto laws by mounting an override with the votes of two-thirds of the House and Senate. That didn't happen to Obamacare because Obama signed it into law in 2010.
The Supreme Court has a check on both Congress and the president by looking over the laws that do get passed and deciding whether they square with the Constitution. That happened in 2011 when the Supreme Court found no problems with Obamacare, despite examination by a majority of conservative-minded justices.
Congress also has the power to try and repeal laws that have previously been signed into law by the president. Some members of Congress have tried that with Obamacare more than 40 times, and each attempt has failed.
So with respect to Obamacare, checks and balances worked out just fine. Congress passed it, the president signed it and the Supreme Court gave it the double thumbs-up. What's not working is the GOP-led political brinksmanship that's being done under the banner of "compromise." Regardless of whether Obamacare is right or wrong - time will tell - Obama isn't compelled to compromise on what has become law.
Jenkins says neither side can set the rules and get everything it wants. And she's right about that. Republicans got their sequestration cuts. Obama got Obamacare.
That's your compromise right there.
Kansas Republican Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins will go to the White House this afternoon with fellow GOPers to resume discussions about ending the government shutdown.