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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 SchumerGOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar Why we need to build gateway now 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 McConnellTrump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral GOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' McConnell calls McCain a 'rare patriot' and 'American hero' after Trump criticism 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 mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE earlier this month appointed Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general after former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump O'Rourke on impeachment: 2020 vote may be best way to 'resolve' Trump 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."