Author of 2013 government shutdown concerned Dems will do the same thing

Senator Ted Cruz, one of the primary backers of the government shutdown in 2013 over Obamacare funding, says he's concerned that the radical Democratic left wants to obstruct Republicans and will work for its own government shutdown.

Texas Tribune:

Ted Cruz, no stranger himself to government funding fights, expressed concern Monday that the "Democratic radical left" would prompt a government shutdown in the coming weeks as Congress faces an April 28 deadline to pass a spending bill.

"You know, I very much hope we don't have a shutdown," Cruz told reporters. "I will say I’m concerned. I think [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer and the Democrats want a shutdown."

Cruz had a starring role in the 2013 government shutdown, which lasted 16 days and was prompted over failed efforts by Republicans to defund the Affordable Care Act. Afterward, some Republicans blamed Cruz for helping instigate the shutdown without a realistic plan to prompt the Obama administration to blink on the issue. 

"You know, one of the dynamics we’ve got is the Democratic radical left is demanding of Senate Democrats that they oppose everything, that they engage in across-the-board obstruction," Cruz said Monday. "And so I do have some concern that to appease the radical left, Chuck Schumer and the Democrats may do everything they can to try to provoke a shutdown."

Forget the irony of Cruz warning against a government shutdown by Democrats, and look at his analysis.  The reality is, there are going to be a lot of Republicans who will not vote for the spending bill being fashioned this week.  Both Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell are going to need at least some Democrat votes to keep the government operating.

But to get those votes, Republicans are going to have to cave on some important issues.  Funding for the wall is out, as is cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood.  There are other "no-go" issues that most Democrats will refuse to vote for, making a government shutdown likely unless the White House gives in and gives the Democrats what they want.

Asked Monday if he was willing to tie issues like funding for the border wall to the spending bill, Cruz said he believes Congress "should use the power of the purse, use appropriation, to implement good policy." However, he reserved judgment on which specific issues should be tied up in the legislation, saying he will wait until he reads the text of the bill.

Cruz made the comments after touring air conditioner manufacturer Daikin's factory in Waller County, where he also held a town hall with employees.

Speaking with reporters, Cruz reflected on the failure of House Republicans earlier this year to pass legislation repealing and replacing Obamacare as Congressional leaders consider their strategy on the next item on the Trump agenda: tax reform. 

Cruz is hinting that if the GOP caves on important issues and give the Democrats what they want, there could be a conservative revolt that would make it virtually impossible to avoid a shutdown.  The thinking here is that even giving Democrats everything they ask for, the opposition party will still look to embarrass President Trump and congressional Republicans by forcing a shutdown.

Unless President Trump can crack the whip and force reluctant conservatives to vote to keep the government operating, it appears we're headed for another government shutdown in the near future.

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