FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear chided Washington lawmakers Thursday for not reaching a deal to raise the federal debt limit.
"I am appalled at the performance of those in Washington D.C. who are entrusted with the leadership of this country," Beshear said at a Capitol news conference. "They are giving no thought to the interest of the American public. It is time that they get their act together up there and put the people first and their partisan political goals second."
States are scrambling to figure out how a federal debt default would affect them if lawmakers don't reach a deal by a Tuesday deadline. Kentucky receives about $11.5 billion each year from the federal government for key programs such as Medicaid, education and transportation.
"It's very difficult to plan right now because no one knows for sure what the federal government will do, what bills they will pay, and what programs they will not fund. And until we know that, it's pretty hard to do much preparation," Beshear said.
If the impasse is resolved before Tuesday, Beshear said that he did not expect any interruption in key services.
When pressed to say if any one person or party was to blame, Beshear said "I include everyone in Washington D.C. that has anything to do with this."
"No matter what party is in charge, the other party's first goal seems to be to not let them accomplish anything. I think that's bad for the people of this country," he said.
Beshear said the debate has created instability in the financial markets and weakened the country's fiscal standing, which means states also will likely see higher interest rates to borrow money.
"If the credit rating of the United States goes down, it's going to affect all of the states; it's going to affect our cost of doing business," Beshear said. "That will ultimately fall on the taxpayers of this country."