Durbin: Shutdown would be ‘unmitigated disaster’

Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) warned on Thursday that, if congressional leaders allow the government to shut down Friday night, it would be an “unmitigated disaster” for the country.

“That [a shutdown] could happen tomorrow night at midnight,” Durbin said. “If it does, it is an unmitigated disaster. There is no winner. No political party can claim they came out ahead in this exercise. It makes us all look bad. And deservedly so. “

Congressional leaders worked through the night in an attempt to reach a budget agreement for 2011 before current funding for the federal government runs dry on Friday night.

"We are now in the countdown phase as to whether the government of the United States, the most prosperous nation in the world, is going to shut down, turn off the lights, close its door and walk away,” said Durbin.