High ranking Senate Dem threatens government shutdown

Remember when GOP lawmakers were called suicide bombers, arsonists, and kidnappers by a senior White House spokesman for raising the specter of a shutdown? Well, the shoe is on the other foot, but don’t expect any heated rhetoric from the WH. Rebecca Shabad reports in The Hill:

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Wednesday warned Republicans that if they don’t reach another bipartisan deal to lift spending ceilings, they risk causing another government shutdown this fall.

“So Republicans have a choice, and it’s the same choice they faced in 2013. They can either work with us early on a bipartisan budget deal that will set the topline budget levels and allow the Appropriations Committee to work on bills that can be signed into law,” Murray said Wednesday afternoon at a legislative seminar hosted by law firm Baker Hostetler.

At a time when the President is committing more US troops to Iraq, Sen. Murray is making non-negotiable demands:

“First, we don’t need to aim for a big deal,” she said. “Second, the automatic cuts need to be rolled back evenly across defense and non-defense investments. This is non-negotiable.”

Threatening a shutdown in the face of an escalating national security threat if the military is not further gutted doesn’t sound like smart politics to me. Glenn Reynolds has a smart suggestion:

Personally, I think a shutdown is fine, and Republicans should loudly blame it on Democrats’ desire to tax and spend.

It remains a Revealed Truth among the media and the GOP Establishment that shutdowns are always the fault of Republicans and they damage the GOP brand. However, forcing the Dems (and President Obama) to defend a veto or a filibuster for the purpose of cutting defense, or raising taxes, might not be a terrible challenge as a presidential election looms. Wouldn’t it be difficult for Hillary to dodge questions on the matter?

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