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 MuellerHouse progressive: Pelosi 'has it right' on impeachment Democrats talk subpoena for Mueller Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna: 'I'm not there yet' on impeachment 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 SchumerSchumer wants investigation into Chinese-designed New York subway cars Getting serious about infrastructure Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act 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 McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Iraq War looms over Trump battle with Iran 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests 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 rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE earlier this month appointed Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general after former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHouse Democrats leave empty chair for McGahn at hearing MSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump Chris Wallace: AG Barr 'clearly is protecting' 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."