Reid: Senate GOP will share blame for government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSanders and Schumer are right: Ellison for DNC chair The Hill's 12:30 Report Hopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs MORE (D-Nev.) said Thursday Senate Republicans will be responsible for a government shutdown if they support a House measure linking ObamaCare and a stop-gap spending measure.

The House is expected to approve a measure funding the government through Dec. 15 but defunding ObamaCare by Friday.

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Reid said if Senate Republicans back the measure, they’ll share responsibility for shutting down the government.

“My concern is whether the [Senate] Republicans are going to be going pell-mell to support what the Republicans have done — or will do in the House, is what I should say — if they decide to do that, then they’re closing the government, clearly,” he told reporters.

Senate Republicans are coming under intense pressure to back the defunding effort.

Sens. Ted CruzTed CruzBrietbart CEO reveals that Trump donors are part owners At CPAC, Trump lashes out at media Conquering Trump returns to conservative summit MORE (R-Texas) and Mike LeeMike LeeLessons from the godfather of regulatory budgeting Congress must reform civil asset forfeiture laws A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (R-Utah) called on Senate Republicans to stand with the House GOP in the fight to defund the Affordable Care Act during an interview with conservative talk-show host Sean Hannity Wednesday.

Separately on Thursday, Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerHouse markup of ObamaCare repeal bill up in the air Conservatives to Congress: Get moving Boehner: ObamaCare repeal and replace 'not going to happen' MORE (R-Ohio) said he expected Senate Republicans to put up a tough fight to defund ObamaCare.

House Republicans were irritated with a statement on Wednesday from Cruz, who suggested there wasn’t enough support in the Senate to defund ObamaCare. Cruz had been one of the loudest voices pressuring the House to take the risky political move, despite objections from establishment GOP voices, including the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board.

Without a government-funding deal, the government will shut down on Oct. 1.

Most Senate Republicans have declined to say whether they would vote with Democrats to pass a “clean” stop-gap spending measure that would not affect the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Even Sen. Richard BurrRichard BurrTop Senate Dem: ‘Grave concerns’ about independence of Russia probe Trump's pick for intel chief to get hearing next week A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (R-N.C.), who recently called the House GOP’s aggressive bid to defund ObamaCare the “dumbest idea I’ve ever heard” won’t say whether he’ll vote to strip defunding language from the continuing resolution.

Reid on Thursday declined to comment on his legislative strategy and said BoehnerJohn BoehnerHouse markup of ObamaCare repeal bill up in the air Conservatives to Congress: Get moving Boehner: ObamaCare repeal and replace 'not going to happen' MORE may not even have enough votes to pass a bill linking ObamaCare and the government funding resolution.

“We’ve heard all kinds of rumors that they don’t have the votes, that they’re going to try to come up with another strategy. So let’s just wait and see what they come up with,” he said.

Reid reiterated his position that Democrats will not grant any concessions to the GOP in exchange for keeping the government funded beyond September or raising the nation’s debt limit.

“The president has made very, very clear and we have followed that up by saying we also are not going to negotiate on the debt ceiling and we’re not going to and that’s very, very clear,” Reid said.