Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly is challenging congressional Republicans to stop flailing against the federal health care law and work with Democrats on other pressing legislation.

The freshman Democrat says Texas Republican Ted Cruz‘s 21-hour talkathon urging the Senate to defund the law accomplished nothing but to distract the chamber from more vital business, starting with the bill to extend federal spending authority beyond Monday‘s end of the fiscal year. Donnelly says it‘ll be “devastating” to the economy if a budget stalemate prompts a shutdown of government offices on Tuesday.

And Donnelly complains Cruz and other G-O-P hardliners are blocking the formation of a conference committee to iron out differences between House and Senate versions of a farm bill.

Donnelly says relitigating the health care law is not only futile but misguided. He says delaying the law, as Republicans including Indiana Senator Dan Coats and Ninth District Representative Todd Young have proposed, would delay long-awaited coverage for Hoosiers with preexisting conditions. Donnelly says Republicans should instead work with Democrats to improve pieces of the law which need fixing.