Reid: GOP 'getting warmed up' for shutdown

Reid: GOP 'getting warmed up' for shutdown
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidCortez Masto says she's not interested in being Biden VP Nevada congressman admits to affair after relationship divulged on podcast Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil MORE (D-Nev.) is fueling worries the government could shut down, arguing that Republicans are “getting warmed up” to do it next week.

Reid’s comments followed the rejection by Democratic leaders on Thursday of the latest proposal from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes bill to give flexibility for small business coronavirus aid program On The Money: GOP turning against new round of ,200 rebate checks | Millions of Americans frustrated by delayed unemployment checks | Senate votes to give coronavirus relief program more flexibility Rand Paul holding up quick passage of anti-lynching bill MORE (R-Ky.) to fund the government past Election Day.

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Democrats say the measure has too many policy riders attached.

McConnell was expected to announce his latest offer to Democrats on the Senate floor Thursday afternoon, but Democratic leaders dismissed it before the details were announced publicly.

“I can’t imagine why the Republicans would do this. They’ve shut it for 17 days before, I guess they’ve just getting warmed up to do it again,” Reid said, referring to the 2013 government shutdown over ObamaCare.

Few people in Washington think there will be a shutdown in an election year.

Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have appeared close to a deal, and GOP leaders aren’t dealing with a major conservative insurrection on their side.

At the same time, Congress is running out of time. A stopgap needs to be approved by a week from Friday.

Democrats have seen a political advantage in shutdown fights. The 2013 shutdown led to poor poll numbers for Republicans, though those figures bounced back after ObamaCare’s difficult rollout.

Reid said Republican demands to add policy riders, such as language blocking the Obama administration from ceding oversight of Internet domain names to an international body, are preventing a deal.

But a senior Republican aide waved aside Reid’s warning.

“There’s not going to be a government shutdown,” the aide said.

Another senior GOP aide declined to comment on the details of McConnell’s latest offer, explaining that it would soon be revealed on the Senate floor.

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests MORE’s entry in the debate has only complicated things, Reid said.

The GOP presidential nominee on Wednesday said he agrees with Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzRosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Clyburn: Cowed GOP ascribes 'mystical powers' to Trump GOP senators dodge on treatment of White House protesters MORE (R) and other Republicans pushing for language in the stopgap funding measure that would stop the Department of Commerce from relinquishing its authority over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

Reid warned that Trump’s support will make the rider a non-starter among Democrats.

“It’s obvious to me that Trump, [who] wants the federal government out of everything, suddenly now wants the government in something,” he said of the Internet debate. “It’s his issue now, I don’t think it’s going to sell well in my caucus.”

President Obama and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) are in step with Senate Democratic opposition to the latest GOP proposal, Reid noted.

“I’ve talked to her. She’s not going to agree to this, the president’s not going to agree to this, it’s really unfair to the American people,” he said.

Reid said Democrats will agree to a clean short-term government funding bill that provides emergency money to fight the Zika virus but stripped of other riders.

“All they have to do is give us a clean CR — that doesn’t sound like too much — to fund the government,” he said, referring to the continuing resolution.