Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the fight over a potential government shutdown that would begin after midnight is in House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) mind.

“The battle over whether the government shuts down is going on in Speaker Boehner’s head," said Schumer, chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

"Look inside Speaker Boehner's brains and see what’s going on," said Schumer. "I am sure there is a lot of torment and tumult. I sympathize with the situation, but this is a time for leadership."

Schumer has called on Boehner to abandon the Tea Party element of his caucus and move toward the middle in negotiations with Democrats on the fiscal 2011 budget.

If a deal to fund the government is not struck before midnight on Friday, the government will shut down.