GOP senator: Shutdown would be 'stupid,' 'grave mistake' for Dems to add Mueller bill to spending bill

GOP senator: Shutdown would be 'stupid,' 'grave mistake' for Dems to add Mueller bill to spending bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said Monday that it would be a "grave mistake" for Democrats to attempt to add legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE to a spending bill as Congress attempts to prevent a government shutdown.

"That very well could lead to a government shutdown," Kennedy said, adding that a shutdown "would be stupid," according to CNN

Funding for several agencies is set to lapse on Dec. 7. 

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Senate Democrats have said they will push a spending bill to include language that protects Mueller from being fired without just cause if Republican leadership refuses to schedule the protection bill for a stand-alone floor vote.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBolton book alleges Trump tied Ukraine aid freeze to Biden investigations: NYT Trump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president Impeachment has been a dud for Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.) has pushed for such legislation, with some bipartisan support. Outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has said he supports adding the Mueller protection to the spending bill and has also said he plans to oppose Trump's judicial nominees until such legislation is voted on.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFormer senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Democrats step up pressure over witnesses after Bolton bombshell Bolton book alleges Trump tied Ukraine aid freeze to Biden investigations: NYT MORE (R-Ky.) has said he opposes the legislation, saying that it's unnecessary because Mueller and his investigation aren't in danger. 

The push for such legislation comes after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE earlier this month appointed Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general after former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLawmaker wants Chinese news outlet to register as foreign agent Trump-aligned group launches ad campaign hitting Doug Jones on impeachment ICE subpoenas Denver law enforcement: report MORE resigned at the president’s request on Nov. 7.

Whitaker, who now oversees Mueller's probe, has expressed doubt about the necessity of the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in an op-ed for CNN last year that the probe had "gone too far."