Senate Democrats

Reid Spokesman Responds To Eric Cantor Again Refusing To Take Government Shutdown Off The Table, Continuing To Defend Billions In Government Giveaways To Oil Companies

Washington, D.C.Jon Summers, spokesman for Nevada Senator Harry Reid, released the following statement in response to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor again refusing to take a government shutdown off the table, and continuing to defend billions in government giveaways to oil companies that are raking in record profits:

"Majority Leader Cantor can start an adult conversation right away by doing one thing: taking a government shutdown off the table. Leading Republicans are still threatening to shut down the government if they don’t get everything they want – which includes taking cops off the street and cutting financial aid for college instead of cutting waste and excess, like $20 billion in government giveaways to oil companies that are currently raking in record profits. Democrats want to reduce spending by cutting waste and excess like those oil company handouts and the billions we’re spending right now on unworkable flying ray guns, while Republicans want to cut programs that create jobs and grow our economy. We hope Republicans will stop bowing to the extremists in their party, and start working with Democrats to find common-sense solutions to cut government spending and create jobs."



Politico: “McConnell Won’t Take Shutdown Off The Table.”  [Politico headline, 1/30/11]

McConnell Pointedly Refused to Take Shutdown Off The Table Three Times In One Interview.  During an appearance on “Meet The Press,” McConnell was given three opportunities to take a government shutdown off the table.  Each time he was asked if he would take a government shutdown off the table, but he repeatedly refused to rule out the prospect.  [Meet the Press, 1/30/11]    

CNN: Top Senate Budget Republican Open To Government Shutdown, Says It “Worked Out Good For The Country” Last Time. “[T]he top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee told CNN Monday he’s not ruling out that possibility ‘if the President just stonewalls – refuses to pass anything that will be responsible.’ In 1995, when Republicans controlled all of Congress and a spending stalemate resulted in a government shutdown, President Clinton went on to win re-election. Most Republicans remember that as a politically disastrous move they don’t want to repeat. Sessions says there was an upside – the country’s fiscal condition did get better. ‘It worked out good for the country.’”  [CNN, 1/24/11]

Reuters: Majority Leader Eric Cantor “Refused… To Rule Out The Possibility Of A Government Shutdown.”  “A top Republican refused on Sunday to rule out the possibility of a government shutdown next year over growing federal deficits… Appearing on ‘Fox News Sunday,’ Cantor focused on Obama when asked if Republicans could provide assurances that they wouldn’t let the government shut down in any confrontation with the White House, disrupting all but the most essential services to millions of Americans.  ‘The president’s got a responsibility as much or more so than Congress to make sure that we are continuing to function in a way that the people want,’ Cantor said.”  [Reuters, 11/7/10]

GOP Senator Mike Lee: 1995 Government Shutdown Was Just “An Inconvenience.”  “Even if it leads to government default and shutdown?  ‘It’s an inconvenience, it would be frustrating to many, many people and it’s not a great thing, and yet at the same time, it’s not something that we can rule out,’ he says. ‘It may be absolutely necessary.’” [NPR, 10/28/10]

Pawlenty Bragged About Shutting the Government Down in His State.  Pawlenty said “I set a record for vetoes in my state…Had the first government shutdown in Minnesota’s history. Took one of the longest transit strikes in the country’s history to get public employee benefits under control. And, in the last budget period, I cut spending in real terms for the first time in the history of my state. The federal government should do the same.”  [Pawlenty Speech, 2/11/11]

GOP Representative and Appropriations Sub-Committee Chair Member Mike Simpson.  “A top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee says that the fight to cut spending could lead to a government shutdown.  ‘Is it a possibility? Yes, it is a possibility…’ Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, told reporters off the House floor Thursday.”  [CNN, 2/10/11]

Republican Strategist Dick Morris: “There Is Going To Be A Government Shutdown.”  “There is going to be a government shut down just like in 95 and 96 but we’re gonna win it this time.”  [Dick Morris Speech, 8/27/10]

Former GOP Speaker of the House New Gingrich Advises Republicans How To Shut Down The Government. “Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said Tuesday that a government shutdown could occur should Republicans attempt to strip funding for the new healthcare law next Congress… Should President Barack Obama continue to veto such measures, Gingrich said that the government could close like it did nearly 15 years ago over a budget dispute between the Republican Congress and President Bill Clinton.”A simple majority can refuse to fund. So, if you have Boehner as speaker and Mitch McConnell as majority leader, all you have to do is not write into the appropriations bill the money,” Gingrich said at a breakfast sponsored by The American Spectator and Americans for Tax Reform. “If the president vetoes the appropriations bills, you repass them.” [The Hill 4/13/09]

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist Encourages Republicans To Shut Down The Government: “So Be It.”  “The head of the influential Americans for Tax Reform is encouraging the new House Republican majority to adopt a take-no-prisoners approach to federal spending — and if that leads to a 1995-style government shutdown, so be it…”  [Politico, 11/18/10]

GOP House Finance Committee Chair Spencer Bachus Says Shutdown Is An Option. “I would think when we send the spending bills to the president he will veto them, and then the hard vote will be when he sends them back and we will be faced with another situation where he will probably try to force us to shut government down and we are going to have to be brave this time.”  [The Hill, 1/1/10]