Southern Democrats mostly careful on shutdown

October 14, 2013
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FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2013, file photo Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., center, with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., left, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., right, and others, speaks at a news conference and Capitol Hill in Washington with small business owners about the impact the government shutdown is having on business. With the shutdown continuing and the nation’s credit rating under threat, Landrieu stands out among Southern Democratic candidates with her embrace of the three-year-old health care law at the core of Capitol Hill dysfunction. She called Republicans “reckless and irresponsible and radical” for using the federal budget and looming vote to raise the debt ceiling as leverage for demands to scrap health care reform. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu stands out among Democratic Senate candidates in the South with her uncompromising embrace of the three-year-old health care law that's at the core of Capitol Hill dysfunction.

Landrieu says she's still happy she voted for President Barack Obama's signature legislation in 2010. And she refuses to negotiate away the law in the face of Republican demands to scrap it in exchange for approving a federal budget and new borrowing capacity for the nation's treasury.

But her fellow Democratic senators and Senate challengers around the South have taken a more cautious approach. They're criticizing the shutdown and congressional futility, but they're keeping their distance from the president and the health care law.