McConnell: Further shutdowns 'off the table'
October 17th, 2013
05:12 PM ET
11 months ago

McConnell: Further shutdowns 'off the table'

(CNN) - The 16-day partial government shutdown that just ended will be the last, if Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky has anything to say about it.

In a pair of newspaper interviews Thursday, McConnell used the same Kentucky metaphor that "there's no education in the second kick of a mule." The Republican Senate leader said the first kick was the 1995/1996 shutdowns and this one was the second. McConnell remained firm that there will not be a third.

"There will not be a government shutdown," McConnell told The Hill newspaper. To the National Review he said "a government shutdown is off the table. We're not going to do it."

It was McConnell and his counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, who negotiated the last-minute deal that funded the federal government and lifted the nation's borrowing limit through early next year. The deal came with mostly-cosmetic changes to Obamacare, after weeks of Republican insistence that the shutdown end only with a major change to the health care law.

"I think we have fully now acquainted our new members with what a losing strategy that is," McConnell told The Hill.

That's not to say McConnell has given up on his distaste for the Affordable Care Act or Republican issues of lower taxes and curbing government spending, he said.

–CNN's Bryan Koenig contributed to this report.

soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. freedom

    The losing strategy came from the president – "I won't negotiate!" Just like Hilary – "What difference does it make?!" The worst leadership this country has ever seen.

    October 17, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Fae

    Tell that to the cretinous Tea Baggers in the House!

    October 17, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. Sven

    I'll believe that when I see it. Republicans seldom learn from mistakes.

    October 17, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    He is forgeting the voice of his masters; The tea party.

    October 17, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Lets see what Commander Teddy Cruz has to say ?

    He is the new leader of the lost patrol !

    October 17, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. art4u2

    CONSERVATIVE'S Learn to work, read how Government works and how to effect change. Put the confederate flag down
    and grow up.

    October 17, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Rob

    I am not a Republican but this is very encouraging to read. I hope the potty trained Republicans are able to take their party back

    October 17, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. don in albuquerque

    @freedom–you are so full of crap your eyes are brown.

    October 17, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. the hippies were right

    I've heard of junior senators before, but I'm not sure how to classify Alison Grimes. She's doing a great job and hasn't even been elected YET!

    October 17, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. Raghav Gopal

    The outcome depended on who dug in deeper and who had the guts. The GOP lost it and quite deservingly. You cannot annual a law by holding a gun to the head..

    October 17, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Helen

    What about the fact that McConnell secured 2 billion for his state as his "reward"

    October 17, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. Thomas

    freedom
    The losing strategy came from the president – "I won't negotiate!" Just like Hilary – "What difference does it make?!" The worst leadership this country has ever seen.
    =========

    You can spin it all you like , your still going to have to sit on it and take it like a man !

    Who do you work for , the value Voters outlet , Heritage Foundation , FreedomWorks or Handguns for Kids ?

    October 17, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. ImvotingforHillary

    Tell that to your tea bagger nutjobs you court.

    October 17, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. O'drama ya Mama

    freedom

    The losing strategy came from the president – "I won't negotiate!" Just like Hilary – "What difference does it make?!" The worst leadership this country has ever seen.
    October 17, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Its amazing that you could still find a way to spin this in your favor.

    October 17, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. joann

    Why should the president have negotiated on the health care that was voted into law in 2010 by House, Senate and vetted by the Supreme Court?

    October 17, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. freedom

    @don @Thomas

    Obama's and Hilary's words speak for themselves – and it's ugly.

    October 17, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. victor yao

    McConnell came out the biggest winner. He is the worst demagogue and a traitor to his country.

    October 17, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. notogop

    I wonder which does the most damage to the Republican Party, allowing the Tea Party to be a part of their caucus or having an extreme right-wing third party? It would be worth looking into if they haven't already done the study.

    October 17, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. Data Driven

    I can't deny that I have a contextual, if not actual, sympathy for Mitch McConnell. I appreciate the fact that he's an old-school pol and not aboard the Nihilism Express led by Ted Cruz. I like the fact that he took a little kickback for his home state with the Reid deal - we need more of that; that's how deals get done. Even his comment about trying to make Obama a one-term President seemed fair and within-bounds to me. Lemme tellya, if I was Dem Minority Leader in the Senate during Dubya's first term, I would've said the same thing. You gotta have a sneaking admiration for such an uncharismatic-looking and sounding guy becoming such a locus of power. Well, you don't gotta. I just like old-school pols.

    Compared to the new rebels of the Zombie GOP, McConnell is sane. You're gonna miss him when he's gone ... which will be very soon, indeed.

    October 17, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. TKO

    "FREEDOM" (like that monikor–reminds of the last refuge of scoundrels)

    Worst, really? Worse than plunging us into two losing wars? Worse than losing 800,000 jobs a month? Worse than pushing the economy into its worse recession in 60 years? Worse than outright lying to the people (yellowcake, WMD's etc etc etc)?

    My memory is not as bad as yours seems to be.

    October 17, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    How very magnanimous of them.

    October 17, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  22. JohnRJohnson

    It is unbelievable and downright depressing that ANYBODY would suggest that this shutdown was caused by the President. First of all, the Republicans in the House REFUSED to pass a Continuing Resolution that would have funded the government. They insisted on adding amendments which they and the entire world knew would NEVER pass the Senate, much less get the President's signature. Secondly, at the last minute, John Boehner changed the rules of the House making it so that only Eric Cantor could decide what would be allowed to go to the floor for a vote. Basically, that blocked any clean Continuing Resolution. The Tea Partyers hate President Obama so much that they are willing to put the entire world's economy at risk in order to engineer the failure of the Affordable Care Act, which won't even be fully implemented until January. It's not just stupid. It's not rational.

    October 17, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  23. DEAFDUMBBLIND

    maybe mconnell will get another 2.2 mil for KY with his RINO stance. most of our government members, of both parties, are bought and paid for by lobbyists. by the people for the people, what a joke. even the ones that go in with good intentions get purchased. what a laughing stock we have become to the world. ACA is not affordable but not optional. WTH has happened to our country? More takers than givers, what is the incentive to pull yourself up by the bootstraps to middle class or beyond when you can get it all for free? Rape the middle class, or what's left of it anyway.

    October 17, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  24. jrcomo35713

    How bout a new mountain carved out in the Black Hills of North Dakota in memorial of the likeness of Republican all-stars in the Loser's Bracket that came seriously close to derailing our livelihoods: Teddy Cruz, Grover Norquist, Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin. Inscription to read: To the "American" people in God We Trust....Bravo

    October 17, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. Woman In California

    McConnell better go make his sacrifices to the TP gods because we all know he'll be saying something else tomorrow.

    TPublicans don't want peace or prosperity under this president because they're too full of hate and racism including the old geezer from Kentucky.

    October 17, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
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