Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s immigration framework Prison sentencing bill advances over Sessions objections Grassley ‘incensed’ by Sessions criticism of proposed sentencing reform legislation MORE (R-Utah) suggested Thursday that President Obama might have begun planning a government shutdown last year with “malicious” intent.

“Why was it that a few months ago … when the president had both Houses under the control of his party — why did he opt not to pass a budget for fiscal year 2011?” asked Lee, who helped found the Senate’s Tea Party Caucus earlier this year.

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“It was either irresponsible on one hand or deliberate and malicious on the other with intention to bring about a sequence of events that would culminate inevitably in a government shutdown,” said Lee.

The spending measure funding the government is set to expire at midnight Friday.

President Obama has threatened to veto a one-week stopgap measure passed by the House Thursday afternoon that includes language that would prohibit the District of Columbia from using local government funds for abortion services. It is opposed by Senate Democrats and is not expected to reach Obama's desk.

“The question we have to ask ourselves is: Why does Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Ex-US ambassador: Mueller is the one who is tough on Russia MORE, president of the United States, want a shutdown?” Lee said in his floor speech.