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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) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel 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 SchumerChuck SchumerCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar 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 McConnellPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Graham calls voting rights bill 'biggest power grab' in history The wild card that might save Democrats in the midterms 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 TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE earlier this month appointed Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general after former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos Garland strikes down Trump-era asylum decisions 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."