House Republicans do not intend to engineer a government shutdown similar to one that occurred in 1995 under GOP rule, House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn BoehnerMatt Schlapp: 5 lessons Paul Ryan hopefully learned from healthcare debate Nunes rebuffs calls for recusal Wounded Ryan faces new battle MORE (R-Ohio) said Thursday.
BoehnerJohn BoehnerMatt Schlapp: 5 lessons Paul Ryan hopefully learned from healthcare debate Nunes rebuffs calls for recusal Wounded Ryan faces new battle MORE, in an interview following the release of the House Republicans' "Pledge to America," said he would not rule out a government shutdown, but he would look to avoid it should his party take control of Congress in the fall.
Some Republican candidates and office-holders, such as Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.), have raised the specter of shutting down the government if their party comes to an impasse with the White House.
The idea has drawn comparisons to events of the year after Republicans swept into power in the House in 1994. Then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and President Bill ClintonBill ClintonChelsea Clinton dismisses rumors she'll run for public office: report Trump seeks to stop lawsuit from ‘Apprentice’ contestant Trump asks why Clintons' ties to Russia aren't under investigation MORE could not agree to pass a budget, closing non-essential government services for weeks.
Democrats pounced on the idea this time around, saying Republicans would take overly radical actions if voters put them into the majority.
Retiring Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) this week called the idea of a GOP-led shutdown "absurd" and blamed the "left" and the "media" for creating the idea that Republicans would consider it.
Pressed by CNN as to whether the GOP would cave in the face of a government shutdown, Boehner said "We want a smaller, less costly and more accountable government in Washington and we're pledging to the American people that we will fight for that goal.
"I'm not going to get into...what ifs," Boehner added. "I'm hopeful that the president will sign it. You know, I was a born optimist."