Another government shutdown possible?

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) on Tuesday left the door open to the possibility of another shutdown due to the battle over reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.

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Republicans have been split over whether to reauthorize the bank, with incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) joining conservatives in opposing it, but Democrats and establishment Republicans supporting it. The battle could come to a head this fall, if conservative opposition grows and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) attaches a provision reauthorizing the bank to a continuing resolution to fund the government past Sept. 30.

Asked at a breakfast briefing hosted by the Christian Science Monitor about the likelihood of another shutdown due to the conflict over the Ex-Im Bank, Israel compared the situation to the last shutdown, noting that was largely seen as unlikely until it happened.

“I didn’t believe that the first shutdown of the government was likely, and they did it. This is why I worry about impeachment,” he said.

“Around this table we do not believe that impeachment is viable, but around this table, very few people would have believed that a government shutdown for 16 days was viable. [Republicans] can’t help themselves. That’s why I worry about impeachment.”

Israel said earlier Tuesday that the GOP strategy of pushing impeachment was “misfiring,” as while it may have been intended to fire up the GOP base, it was doing the same for the Democratic base and moving persuadable voters in favor of Democrats.

He said the GOP conflict over the Ex-Im Bank was “another example of a strategy that is misfiring.”

“That’s another example of Republicans being hijacked by the right, changing their own votes and creating more instability in their own party and less security with constituents and voters,” he said.