The world is watching the federal government shutdown and sees "a democracy that's not working," former President Jimmy Carter has claimed.
And Congress should use the model of a building site to solve the budget impasse, Carter said in an interview with USA Today.
Carter spoke during a visit to New York City visiting an area that was hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 to help rebuild homes with Habitat for Humanity.
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"We respect authority," the Democrat, who lived in the White House from 1977-1981, explained. "When we have a building superintendent or house leader, everybody that works on the Habitat site pays attention to instructions for the well-being of everybody."
"Secondly, there's no distinction about whether you're a Christian or a Muslim or a Jew or Democrat or a Republican or a man or a woman — you're all working for the same goal," he added.
Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, also visited an apartment building they helped renovate almost 30 years ago, a location they visit and work on annually.
The former president believes that a home is "a basic human right" that Americans who have never gone without tend to forget.
"If you ask a person in, say, many parts of Africa or Latin American or Asia, 'What is a basic human right?'" Carter continued. "They would say 'to have a place to live and to have food to feed my family.'"
"A decent home is key to gains in education and income for families, and to lower crime rates in neighborhoods," Carter said. "A family that has a decent home has ambition for their children to go to school, to go to college."
"Those things don't happen when someone is sleeping on the street," he added.
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