Reid: GOP 'getting warmed up' for shutdown

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

Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidKavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow Dems can’t ‘Bork’ Kavanaugh, and have only themselves to blame Dem senator: Confidential documents would 'strongly bolster' argument against Kavanaugh's nomination 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 McConnellGOP, Kavanaugh accuser struggle to reach deal GOP making counteroffer to Kavanaugh accuser The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump questions Kavanaugh accuser's account | Accuser may testify Thursday | Midterm blame game begins 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 TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate 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 CruzFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate NY Times, McCabe give Trump perfect cover to fire Rosenstein, Sessions Live coverage: Cruz, O'Rourke clash in Texas debate 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.