A great deal of attention has been paid to the divide between Senate and House Republicans that has come to the fore as Senate Republicans keep their word from the bipartisan budget deal made earlier this year, but House Republicans insist on breaking theirs.
However, there’s a significant aspect of this debate that they agree on. Both House and Senate Republicans are clear that an extreme shutdown would be the fault of the House GOP.
A shutdown would force the military and tens of thousands of Federal law enforcement officers to work without getting paid, potentially delay food safety inspections, risk food assistance for mothers and children, and stall cancer research.
House Republicans themselves seem to be aware of those facts:
Speaker McCarthy put the situation in stark terms days ago, saying, “This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down.”
Hardliner Chip Roy was unambiguous about the pain he wants to make the American people feel: “I honestly don’t know what to say to my fellow Republicans other than you’re going to eat a shit sandwich and you probably deserve to eat it.”
Matt Gaetz was also very clear: “We will have a government shutdown and it is absolutely Speaker McCarthy’s fault. We cannot blame Joe Biden for not having moved our individual spending bills. We cannot blame House Democrats. We can’t even blame Chuck Schumer in the Senate.”
Last month, Rep. Steve Womack, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, said, “I worry about [a shutdown]. I would like to think that we would have a moment of sobriety before we do something like that.”
But House Republicans aren’t alone in explicitly admitting they alone would be responsible for an extreme shutdown. Senate Republicans have spoken out too.
Even Sen. Tommy Tuberville, whose radical political agenda is doing unprecedented damage to our armed services, said, “I hope they don’t shut it down.”
Sen. Rick Scott said, “We need to not shut down the government.”
Sen. Josh Hawley said in an interview, “I’m just not a shutdown guy.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski stressed to her House counterparts, “the House is going to have to sort through their priorities and hopefully, they’re going to be priorities that are in the best interests of the operations of good governance.”
Sen Jerry Moran told reporters, “The Senate will not shut down the government. I can’t answer for a place I worked in for 14 years. I don’t know what happens there.”
So as House Republicans continue seeking to be the only group that breaks their word to the American people about keeping the government open, and as they pull the country toward an extreme government shutdown in the name of draconian cuts to education, law enforcement, Meals on Wheels, and Head Start, keep in mind that there is an all-important aspect of this debate that all parties and both chambers agree on: House Republicans would be inflicting these hardships on families by themselves.
And those words are in the open.
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