"As a Republican, I think there's blame to go around for everybody. I don't think it's fair or right to let Democrats off the hook as if they had nothing to do with the shutdown," Herbert said, faulting President Barack Obama for failing to resolve the stalemate. "It's unfair to say Senator Lee is all to blame for this."
Time, he added, will tell if the shutdown was good or bad.
"Hopefully, we all learned from the process," Herbert said. "Who's to say who's right or wrong? I'll just say to you, [in] the shutdown there were no winners, and the attempt to shut down the federal government, I don't think, is a good idea and I'm disappointed we got to that point."
Utah also received a $666,288 refund Thursday, repayment for an unused portion of the $1.7 million the state paid to reopen eight national parks and monuments during the federal closure.
The $1.7 million the state gave to the U.S. Interior Department was meant to operate the parks for 10 days, an attempt to ease the blow to tourist communities around the parks. But with the shutdown ending six days later, Washington was obligated to refund the unused portion.
Getting the rest of the money repaid is more complicated. Congress will have to approve those funds.
Five members of Utah's federal delegation are working for reimbursement.
Herbert said he believes the state will be made whole. "I'm pretty confident we're going to get the money back," he said, "and it certainly was worth it."
The $166,700 the state spent each day to operate the parks brought $3 million in economic activity that otherwise would have been lost, said Herbert, calling the shutdown a "cataclysmic problem."
He also expects Colorado to repay Utah for money used to send Utah National Guard troops there to help respond to devastating floods.
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