Senate Democrats again warn of government shutdown
February 11th, 2011
04:22 PM ET
12 years ago

Senate Democrats again warn of government shutdown

Washington (CNN) - Senate Democratic leaders organized a conference call with reporters Friday to pound away at one of their central political messages - Republicans are risking a government shutdown over spending differences.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, cited comments from House Republican Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, quoted in a CNN.COM story, saying it is a "possibility" that the fight over spending cuts could lead to a government shutdown.

Simpson, a senior Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, also said "we're going to do everything we can to make sure that doesn't happen."

Still, Democratic leaders pounced.

"We are willing to meet the Republicans in the middle on cutting spending but they keep lurching to the right, and this infighting is causing delays that will take these negotiations right up to the deadline and a government shutdown and that seems to be exactly what Republicans want," said Schumer.

Conservatives are forcing House GOP leaders to cut more spending this year than they had planned, in order to live up to the Republican pledge to cut $100 billion in spending before the end of the year.

It was already going to be hard to negotiate whatever spending cuts come out of the House with the Democratic led Senate. With even deeper cuts, it will be more difficult to come to an agreement on a spending bill. The current government funding bill expires on March 4th.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor hit back at the Democratic senators, saying their statements "are akin to shouting fire in a crowded theater and only serve as a distraction from the fact that Democrats aren't willing to work with us to cut spending and create jobs."

"If we want to get our economy growing again so that Americans can get back to work, it's time for both political parties to stop the scare tactics and get serious. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like the leadership in the Senate is there yet," said Cantor.

If negotiations over the spending bill are not complete by March 4th, Congress could always avoid a government shut down by passing another short term measure – known as a continuing resolution – to keep the government running.

In response to a question by CNN, both Reid and Schumer said they would reluctantly support a short term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.

"I think it would be really not good for this country to have a series of short CR's [continuing resolutions] but we will do everything we can do to stop a government shutdown. What the American people want now, what the business community wants now is certainty," said Reid.

House GOP leadership aides told CNN it was premature to say whether short term measures to keep the government running could pass the Republican led House, but they could face resistance from conservatives.

Meanwhile, Senate Democratic leaders could hardly contain their glee about the tough time House GOP leaders have had this week coming up with a spending measure that satisfies newly elected conservatives.

"There is a mad rush to the far right on the House side right now. The House leadership seems to be unable to stand up to their freshmen conservatives on either the drastic level of cuts they want or their desire to shut down the government to get their way," said Schumer.

Filed under: Congress • Senate Democrats
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Gaylon Barrow

    Democrats, we know this is what you desire to make the GOP Look Bad. To you followers of Obama I read your comments on the look alike Palin. What your saying is that Obama(ERKEL) was qualified and anyone else wasn't. Were you born in a pig sty. Read the following. Now, nearly a full 2 years into his first term, all of those gilded years leading up to the White House have left him unprepared to be President. Left to his own instincts, he has a talent for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. It swiftly became a joke that he could not deliver even the briefest of statements without the ever-present Tele-Prompters. Far worse, however, is his capacity to want to "wish away" some terrible realities, not the least of which is the Islamist intention to destroy America and enslave the West. Any student of history knows how swiftly Islam initially spread. It knocked on the doors of Europe, having gained a foothold in Spain . The great crowds that greeted him at home or on his campaign "world tour" were no substitute for having even the slightest grasp of history and the reality of a world filled with really bad people with really bad intentions. Oddly and perhaps even inevitably, his political experience, a cakewalk, has positioned him to destroy the Democrat Party's hold on power in Congress because in the end it was never about the Party. It was always about his communist ideology, learned at an early age from family, mentors, college professors, and extreme leftist friends and colleagues. Obama is a man who could deliver a snap judgment about a Boston police officer who arrested an "obstreperous" Harvard professor-friend, but would warn Americans against "jumping to conclusions" about a mass murderer at Fort Hood whom shouted "Allahu Akbar." The absurdity of that was lost on no one. He has since compounded this by calling the Christmas bomber "an isolated extremist" only to have to admit a day or two later that he was part of an al Qaeda plot.
    He is a man who could strive to close down our detention facility at Guantanamo even though those released were known to have returned to the battlefield against America . He could even instruct his Attorney General to afford the perpetrator of 9/11 a civil trial when no one else would ever even consider such an obscenity. And he is a man who could wait three days before having anything to say about the perpetrator of yet another terrorist attack on Americans and then have to elaborate on his remarks the following day because his first statement was so lame. The pattern repeats itself. He either blames any problem on the Bush administration or he naively seeks to wish away the truth.
    Knock, knock Anyone home? Anyone there? Barack Obama exists only as the sock puppet of his handlers, of the people who have maneuvered and manufactured this pathetic individual's life. When anyone else would quickly and easily produce a birth certificate, this man has spent over a million dollars to deny access to his. Most other documents, the paper trail we all leave in our wake, have been sequestered from review. He has lived a make-believe life whose true facts remain hidden. We laugh at the ventriloquist's dummy, but what do you do when the dummy is President of the United States of America ?

    February 11, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. David

    vote for Ron Paul; he is absolutely the only one anywhere that is outside the DC box and has down to earth common sense ideas that will bring America back from the brink of extinction as a nation. i am a Democrat and I will vote for him if he runs.

    February 11, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. David

    Perhaps anyone in either party could do something morally right for this country, rather than their own self-interest. both parties are to blame, and until both sides of the voting population realize this there will never be any change and there will always be a divide in this country.

    February 11, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. David

    democrats this and republican this; do any of hear yourself? You sound like the idiots in Washington passing the blame every election season.

    February 11, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans are beginning to look like a bunch of street thug "gang bangers" always looking for trouble and never caring who they hurt or what the outcome will be.

    February 11, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Thanks,'re the posterchild for paranoid delusional conspiracy theoriests. Stop watchign the X-Files on acid dude.

    February 11, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. IDontGetIt

    The Republicans and the Democrats need to work together. We the people elected them to work together. My way or the highway is not good for the country. It wastes time and money to pay for a Government that doesn't work. One side of the isle cannot force the other to do things there way. It's called compromise. I'm sick of the Republicans thinking that they know everything and that everything the Democrats do is wrong. Many issues are so complex that it sometimes takes trial and error, and a Government that compromises and works together can make those adjustments. The Republicans just want it all their way. No compromise, no help. They had their 8 years and things were far from perfect, so perhaps the middle of the road.. IS the way to go. If a mistake is made.. then an adjustment should be made. The Republicans are trying to destroy the chances of the Democratic party from staying in office at the detriment to the american people. Come on people. Wake up. This is not teams, this is what's best for our country.

    February 11, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. IDontGetIt

    I bet most of you who read my last post think I'm a democrat. Think again. I'm one of the lucky where hard work and ingenuity have allowed me to be a CEO of a company making over 250k per year. I'm an independent, and not happy about this mess. Everything that happens in my company is thoroughly vetted by everyone involved and we always come up with the best solutions and products because everyone contributes. Again, WAKE UP AMERICA. This is not one side against the other. This is working together to make America GREAT again... !!!!

    February 11, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. Lori in St Pete

    Gaylon Barrow, when you cut & paste others' work, you should cite the author or post a link to the document. Otherwise you are guilty of plagiarism. That being said: okay, I read it. So? It just paints you and your ilk as sore losers who can't stand the thought of an intelligent, compassionate LIBERAL in the WH. Your side HATES it that in the last 50 years we've had JFK & Bill Clinton, both loved and respected around the world. And no matter how hard your side tries to canonize that hate-filled sack of B-movie actor, the truth is what it is -the blame for all of the financial and economic problems facing the United States and to a large extent, the rest of the world can be laid directly at his feet. He started it and twelve years of bush league regimes carried on spectacularly.

    February 11, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  10. Lori in St Pete

    David, Ron Paul is nowhere near "outside the DC box". He's been a congressman for years. He's also a Koch-head, which makes him the LAST person America needs in the WH.

    February 11, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. IDontGetIt

    Another thing that Irks me about the Republicans is they claim to be the Christian, Godly americans. I"m a christian as well, but how can you spew hatred and be so disingenuous with the american people and be "Christ like"? Isn't that what a true Christian should be? Would Christ do the things that Shaun Hannity, Bill O,Rielly, Boener, Rush Limbaugh, Sara Palin, Michelle Bachmann do? What is happening to our country? Doesn't anyone see they are dividing us so they can make the country split into teams? That's what's best for them.. I just don't get it. Look at the comment by "Gaylon Barrow". Typical far right hate speak toward other human beings that are just trying to be heard and form the future of America the way they see fit.

    February 11, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  12. T'sah from Virginia

    "...Democrats aren't willing to work with us to cut spending and create jobs." And the RepubliCAN'Ts did not work with the Democrats for the past 2 years to create jobs and grow the economy!! Remember the Party of NO!!!

    Here it comes – now it's the Democrats who are at fault because the RepubliCAN'Ts cannot fulfill their Pledge to America!!!!! What a bunch of CRAP!!!

    February 11, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Ever notice that Gaylon Barrow and Glenn Beck have a lot in common? No facts, just crazy conspiracy theories.

    February 11, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. Clwyd

    God help us from these idiots who call themselves Christians and act like Gestapo! As much as I dislike rumsfeld and Prick cheney they do not deserve to be heckled by their own party or what thinks they are a party. They are trash!

    February 11, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. K. Parks

    They could cut defense spending that does not directly impact our armed forces right now. They could eliminate the tax cut for the wealthy that have had generous tax breaks for over 9 years. They claim that small businesses are the heart of our growing economy but fail to seem to understand that middle class Americans (I'll call them consumers) is what makes small business grow.

    February 11, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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