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Shutdown Groupies

- February 23, 2011

Democrats See “Political Edge” In Government Shutdown

DEMOCRATS ARE PREPARED TO SHUT DOWN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR “POLITICAL EDGE”

Democrats Believe They Would Have “Political Edge On The Issue” If The Government Were To Shut Down. “Senate Democrats are talking about a possible government shutdown more than Republicans, a sign that Democrats are confident they have the political edge on the issue. Senate Democrats have met with senior White House officials in preparation for an intense clash with Republicans over government spending levels and a proposal to increase the national debt ceiling. The three highest-ranking Senate Democratic leaders warned on Thursday that a shutdown is a real possibility.” (Alexander Bolton, “Government Shutdown On The Lips Of Senate Democrats, Not Republicans,” The Hill2/4/11)

Democrats Want To “Pin” Shutdown On GOP, “Even Though They Control The Senate And The White House.” “Democrats have said deep cuts now would hurt the economy and sought to pin a threatened government shutdown on Republicans, even though they control the Senate and the White House.” (Kara Rowland, “Budget Deadlock Points To Government Shutdown,” The Washington Times, 2/20/11)

“For All The Effort Democrats Have Put Into Portraying Republicans To Be Hot On The Idea Of A Shutdown, It’s Really Democrats Who Are Talking Much More About It — Almost Incessantly.” (Jonathan Allen & Carrie Budoff Brown, “How A Government Shutdown Could Happen,” Politico, 2/22/11)

  • Democrats Seem To Believe It Is Still 1995. “Why? It’s quite simple: The last time budget fighting let to shutdowns, in late 1995 and early 1996, a new Republican majority tested a Democratic president entering the stretch run of his first term. Gingrich lost the public relations war to Clinton — and badly. Many Republicans aren’t anxious to reprise that history. Every time a Democratic leader says Republicans want a shutdown and that it would be bad for the country, listen closely for the clause that follows: Often it’s a veiled mention of 1995.” (Jonathan Allen & Carrie Budoff Brown, “How A Government Shutdown Could Happen,” Politico, 2/22/11)

An Aide To Rep. Nancy Pelosi Told Democrats To Expect Government Shutdown, Suggesting “The Odds Favor Inaction.” “A high-ranking aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi  (D-Calif.) told chiefs of staff of Democratic lawmakers that a government shutdown is more likely than not, according to attendees.  Speaking at a regular meeting of the top aides to House Democrats, Pelosi’s floor director, Jerry Hartz, offered, unprompted, his assessment that the odds favor inaction before the government runs out of money, sources said.” (Jonathan Allen, “Government Shutdown Is Likely, Pelosi Aide Says,” Politico, 2/18/11)

MEANWHILE, OBAMA FAILS TO SHOW LEADERSHIP TO AVOID SHUTDOWN

Obama Threatened To Veto The House-Passed CR, Which Could Cause A Government Shut-Down. “The Continuing Resolution (CR) bill currently on the House floor would keep the government operating past March 4. Some version of the CR is needed to avoid a shutdown since the Democratic-led Congress failed to pass a budget last year. Congress in December passed a stopgap funding bill to keep the government operating through March 4. … The Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday issued a statement indicating that Mr. Obama will veto the CR bill as it stands …”  (Stephanie Condon, “Is a Government Shutdown in March on the Table?” CBS News, 2/16/11)

And The Day The Current CR Is Set To Expire Causing A Government Shutdown, Obama Will Head To Miami Beach For Fundraiser. “President Barack Obama will travel to Florida next month to headline a fundraiser for Sen. Bill Nelson, who could face a rough road to re-election next year. The president will attend the March 4 event along with Nelson and Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to a source with knowledge of the event. The dinner and reception is being held at the Miami Beach, Florida home of Judith and Michael Adler, large contributors to Democratic candidates and causes.” (Paul Steinhauser, “Obama To Florida For Nelson Fundraiser,” CNN, 2/18/11)

In The Meantime, Obama Has Not Reached Out To Republican Leaders To Try To Work Out A Compromise. “The X factor in any budget negotiation is the president. But with less than two weeks to go before a possible shutdown — and Congress out of session for most of that time — Republicans say Obama and his aides aren’t talking to GOP leaders about a short-term fix. Boehner gave a flat ‘no’ late Friday when asked whether he had any contact with the White House on the matter.” (Jonathan Allen & Carrie Budoff Brown, “How A Government Shutdown Could Happen,” Politico, 2/22/11)

  • There Has Been No “White House Contacts On A Stopgap Bill.” “Over the weekend, one of his aides said there’s no staff-level discussion either. And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s spokesman said he’s not aware of any White House contacts on a stopgap bill either.” (Jonathan Allen & Carrie Budoff Brown, “How A Government Shutdown Could Happen,” Politico, 2/22/11)

REPUBLICANS HAVE TAKEN THE LEAD TO AVOID A SHUTDOWN

“House Republicans Are Drafting A Short-Term Measure Funding Government At Reduced Levels To Bring Up And Pass Next Week In Order To Avoid A Government Shutdown.” (Michael O'Brien, “House GOP Drafting Measure To Fund Gov't And Avoid Shutdown,” The Hill, 2/22/11)

The Republican-Led House Has Already “Made Good On Its Pledge” To Reduce Spending And Passed Continuing Resolution Containing $60 Billion In Cuts. “The House early Saturday approved a huge package of spending cuts, slashing more than $60 billion from domestic programs, foreign aid, and even some military projects, as the new Republican majority made good on its pledge to turn the grassroots fervor of the November elections into legislative action to shrink the size and scope of government. The vote, of 235 to 189, was a victory for the large, boisterous class of fiscally conservative Republican freshmen that is fiercely determined to change the ways of Washington and that forced party leaders to pursue far bigger cuts than originally planned.” (David M. Herszenhorn, “House Votes To Cut $60 Billion, Setting Up Budget Clash,” The New York Times, 2/19/11)

  • The Cuts Were $100 Billion Below President Obama’s Budget Request For The Year. “The House on Saturday passed a Republican bill that cuts federal spending by $61 billion below current levels, or $100 billion below President Obama's budget request for fiscal year 2011. Obama's budget was never enacted.” (Mike Lillis, “Schumer: GOP Puts Congress On Course For Inevitable Government Shutdown,” The Hill, 2/20/11)

“Republicans Say Any Short-Term Agreement Must Include Spending Cuts. Democrats Say, No Way.” (Jonathan Allen & Carrie Budoff Brown, “How A Government Shutdown Could Happen,” Politico, 2/22/11)


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