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McCain to House GOP: Don't shut down the government

“I hope my colleagues in the House who believe we need to shut down the government will understand that that’s not want the American people want,” the senior senator told CNN’s “New Day” Monday. “They hate government, but they don’t want it to stop functioning.” 

Congress has about two weeks left before that could happen. 

If lawmakers can’t agree on a short-term funding bill that President Obama is willing to sign, the government could shut down indefinitely on Oct. 1. 

“We’ve seen the movie before,” McCain said. “Just some of them [in Congress] weren’t around at the time. I was.” 

The federal government last shut down twice — in 1995 and 1996 — which cost about $1.4 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service.

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In August, a third of House Republicans sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) urging leadership to oppose annual funding bills that would fund ObamaCare. 

Boehner warned them not to use the threat of a government shutdown to stop the implementation of the healthcare law, which officially takes effect on Oct. 1. 

“I think we’re in for some very serious problems here. I think the Republicans ought to understand that if we shut down the government, Congress always gets blamed rightly or wrongly,” McCain added. 

House GOP members want to lower the amount to keep the government funded, which has divided Democrats. 

 The House already delayed a vote last week to keep the government funded because of disagreement over how to fund Obamacare, which Republicans have tried to repeal multiple times.