Chambliss: GOP ‘got our butts kicked’ in prior shutdowns

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Clinton and then-Speaker Newt Gingrich clashed in budget negotiations in 1995 and 1996, triggering two government shutdowns. The moves triggered a backlash against the GOP, and Clinton easily won reelection.

A number of Tea Party Republicans in recent weeks are vowing to oppose any measures to keep the government running after the current funding bill runs out on Sept. 30, if it also means providing money for ObamaCare.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) who is spearheading the effort said that he had a dozen Republican supporters and many conservative groups are pressing lawmakers to join the effort.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has declined to endorse the effort, telling reporters on Tuesday that he is still deciding on strategy.

Chambliss called the healthcare law “a disaster,” but said Republicans should unite instead behind reining in federal spending.

“Sure it’s a fight worth having. ObamaCare is going to be a disaster for the American people,” Chambliss said. “But … if our folks really want to get united behind something that all Republicans agree with and that we have a strategy to move forward on it’s spending.”

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) appearing in a separate interview on “Morning Joe” said that shutting down the government over ObamaCare funding is “just simply not a winning strategy.”

“We all want to obviously get rid of ObamaCare,” said Cole. “But … this changes the subject from something where we’re winning to something where we’ll lose.”