September 16th, 2013
08:37 AM ET
8 years ago

McCain to House Republicans: Don't shut down government

(CNN) – As some Republicans and Democrats begin to dig in before the next fiscal showdown, Sen. John McCain said Washington is "in for some very serious problems" and called on his colleagues in the GOP to tone down the warnings of a government shutdown.

"Republicans ought to understand if we shut down the government, Congress always gets blamed–rightly or wrongly–Congress gets blamed," the Arizona Republican said Monday on CNN's "New Day." "We've seen the movie before. It's just some of them weren't around at the time; I was."

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On the Senate side, some Republicans have threatened to vote against a short-term spending bill that continues to fund the government past October 1 if that bill includes money for Obamacare. If Congress fails to pass the bill, known as a continuing resolution, Washington faces a government shutdown.

CNN Poll: Who gets blame for govt. shutdown

But the real stalemate will likely happen in the GOP-controlled House. The president said he's "happy" to talk to House Speaker John Boehner about dealing with the so-called sequester, a large sum of forced spending cuts that took effect earlier this year.

"There are ways of doing this, it's just that they haven't been willing to negotiate in a serious way on that," he said in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

Q&A: The lowdown on the shutdown, or why you should care about the CR

Republicans typically lobby for spending cuts in budget measures, while Democrats tend to focus more on tax increases. This year, a core group of conservative Republicans in the House wants to tie the entire $986 billion annual operating budget to a provision to defund Obamacare. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Georgia, introduced such a bill last week.

McCain said there needs to be a "willingness to negotiate" on both sides of the aisle " because we all know we're not going to cut off social security checks" and payments to those in the military fighting overseas. "And for us to say you've got to repeal Obamacare in order to get that done, as Charles Krauthammer, that's a suicide note."

"I hope my colleagues in the House who believe that we need to shut down the government will understand that that's not what the American–they hate government, but they don't want it to stop functioning," McCain argued.

House Republican leaders are trying to find a compromise that pleases conservatives as well as Republicans opposed to using Obamacare as leverage. Last week, leaders postponed a vote on government funding legislation until this week, after many conservatives made it clear they wouldn't back it because it doesn't fully defund the health care law.

Republican leaders crafted a plan to pair a spending blueprint with a separate resolution barring the use of federal funds to implement new health care law.

House GOP leaders delay vote on spending bill after conservatives rebel

It also would require the Senate to vote on defunding the controversial health care law before it could vote on the short-term spending bill.

But conservatives object to that strategy because the Democratic-led Senate would likely reject the resolution and simply pass the spending bill that includes money for new healthcare programs.

- CNN's Deirdre Walsh and Leigh Ann Caldwell contributed to this report.

Filed under: Budget • Congress • John McCain
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Ngoc-V-Le/Le-Roy


    September 16, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. ThinkAgain

    @Rick McDaniel: "Obama is such a colossal fiscal incompetent, that there is no OTHER way, to say ENOUGH, on the squanderous, wasteful spending. McCain is a fool if he really thinks there is any alternative."

    If you want to save money, let's start with eliminating oil industry subsidies. Then let's follow up with making Haliburton repay the billions they were given that went "missing." Then onto collecting taxes and fines from all the wealthy Americans who offshore their earnings to avoid paying taxes, while simultaneously enjoying the benefits of the infrastructure (everything from roads to the military) they don't pay for.

    For 20 years, under Reagan and the Bushes, the national debt increased compared to GDP every single year. In most other years it decreased.

    BTW, Bush set the all-time record by increasing the debt by $1.1 trillion in 100 days between July 30 and Nov 9, 2008. And yet Repubs still cling to the idea that if we just cut taxes more and more and more for the wealthy, they will create jobs and the budget will be balanced!

    September 16, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Peace

    Does anyone think these people are serious? They are just threatening. Who in the right mind can dare doing such a thing at this age? Will they dismantle the economy and people praise them for doing so and reward them? Folks, stop listening to them. It is wastage of time.

    September 16, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. ThinkAgain

    @Fair is fair: "Screw mc Cain ! Shut it down!"

    Raising the debt ceiling allows the U.S. government to pay for debt it has already incurred. Aren't you for personal responsibility, Fair?

    September 16, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. HenryMiller

    The Democrats keep trying to wreck the American economy and the Republicans get "blamed" for trying to keep that from happening. Bizarre...

    September 16, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. kirk

    What's bizzare is your inability to recognize that the gop works for the rich only, that you?

    September 16, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. kirk

    The number of tax dollars the government is being screwed out if via offshore accounts in business and the super rich is staggering. These are the same people who want to cut your ss because we dont have enough revenue .any law that will cut profits for the rich are attacked as a job killer, or will kill the economy, the Dodd Frank bill was good until the gop dismantled it.

    September 16, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  8. Rudy NYC


    The Democrats keep trying to wreck the American economy and the Republicans get "blamed" for trying to keep that from happening. Bizarre...
    The Republican majority in the House controls the nation's purse strings. All spending revenue related bills are supposed to originate in the House of Representatives. If the House passes a budget that does not "fund Obamacare", then they could be considered to be in violation of the law.

    The ACA is law, which means that it is not discretionary spending that House can increase, reduce, or eliminate entirely.

    September 16, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Jason

    Shut it down. Go away. Congress gets blamed because congress is at fault. Speaking of terrorists, treason, and other high crimes, is Obama going to get impeached first?

    September 16, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    "Autos is striking," Sperling said on Sunday. "The president made the right and very politically difficult call.
    He saved my industry. He saved my job.
    Future Blessings to you!

    I finally got my day on the dock over the weekend. Coffee in hand, book on my lap, and a spectacular sunrise! Later in the evening, drink in hand, fishing rod at my side, boat over calm water, and a even more spectacular sunset. The only thing missing was a full moon.

    Oh, well. Half moon (half cup) is better than no moon (empty cup) ... yes?

    September 16, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I'm soooo tired of this b.s.
    Go ahead and shut it down, you've done just about everything else to grind us to a complete halt as a country.
    Most despicable set of individuals ever assembled under that dome.

    September 16, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. just me

    Rick McDick, just make it official and enlist with Al Queda.And take Ray E with you.

    September 16, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. kirk

    But the gop bloggers complain that Obama and the dems are the ones who rewrite, disregard the constitution, yet they continue to pervert anything that stands in their way, abortion, voting rights, right to healthcare, access to education.

    September 16, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. DH

    Jason, grow some brains.
    The repubs are losing what tiny bit of credibility they had. We really need more than 1 party, but this has pushed you all over the cliff (similar to what bush/Cheney did to the country) into irrelevance.

    September 16, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. kirk

    Lynda, the gop hates the fact you could afford that luxury, I'm glad you did.

    September 16, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    The number of samples on both sides of the poll is nearly equal, R=452 and D=448, which I find to be somewhat remarkable for a "random" poll. The Republican poll was more than 51.8% independents, while the Democratic poll was 30.6% independents.

    Rudy, the polling from CNN especially (and no doubt others) have increased independents significantly since the 2012 election. President Romney ought to know better than to feed this particular talking point. Those who now lean Republican ARE Republicans and will vote Republican as usual. These folks are simply too embarrassed to consider themselves Republican. The fault in such polling is that a true independent sampling isn't being taken. I live with one such Republican. While he will SAY he is now an independent ... he'll vote Republican. I can only do so much to convince him otherwise. Mr. Obama helped (as did McCain and Romney).

    After awhile I get tired of his "yeah, well, they ALL are blah, blah, blah ....".

    September 16, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. keltic1

    "As long as we look to government to solve our problems, we will always suffer tyranny." William Pitt the Younger

    September 16, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    tom l wrote:

    Ummmm, Rudy, you are aware that when Bush cut taxes (something that 25% of senate democrats voted for) that revenues to the US govt went up every year from 2002-2007, aren't you? And tell me, what are the "democratic economic policy solutions"? Would that be to raise taxes on the rich to pay for more govt programs? How is that working out for us?
    Aren't you aware that Bush also dramatically increased spending from 2002 to 2007? The tax cuts only served to increase the annual budget deficit and the natinoal debt. Explain how cutting taxes creates jobs, anyway? Demand creates jobs.

    Tax cuts do not create jobs. That has been proven time and again over the past 30+ years. Trickle down tax cuts always create a "boom then bust" economy. It is a consistent pattern that has occurred every time conservatives have implemented them. The Bush cuts are the latest example.

    September 16, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    Lynda, the gop hates the fact you could afford that luxury, I'm glad you did.

    LOL! Ah, but they did their best in trying to take my little cabin away from me. Many a day I've thought your thoughts and thanked the good Lord they didn't quite succeed. Who knows. That rustic little cabin might very well end up my future home in years to come.

    September 16, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Data Driven


    Far be it from me to argue with an august personage like William Pitt the Younger, but we're notbasking the government to solve all our problems. We're asking GOP Congresscritters to abide the fact that Obamacare is law, and to pay bills that the government has already incurred.

    September 16, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  21. Winston Smith

    Stick around. This is bound to get interesting. The party ("supposedly pro business"), is doing all they can to shut down the economy. Lets see now. That means fewer and fewer people buying goods and services. It means fewer dollars going to businesses, that pay wages to employees. It means less availability for return on capital invested. It means fewer dollars going to taxes. And here's the rub. Taxes. Seems the only word the right wing, and many on the republican party roster can get to, but not past is taxes. GET OVER YOURSELVES. Learn that the economy works in spite of you, and it always will.

    September 16, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. Marie MD

    @peace, just ask the tea tards led by the Canadian born McCarthy/helms wannabe Rafael. Government shuts down everyone loses but this is what some rethugs want for the country. Everything and anything against our President regardless of the harm to the 98% of its citizens!

    September 16, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  23. Wake up People!

    Oh Lynda that sounds like a piece of heaven right here on earth..... I too enjoy the outdoors. Typically every summer, my friends and I go up to northwestern Michigan for a long weekend. We wake up early, I have my coffee watching the sun rise, they usually have a beer ( a little early for me) and we just talk and take in the beauty of Michigan in the summer. Sadly this year I was unable to afford the trip so I missed it. But last weekend I watched the sun come up and it was so beautiful. The sky was white and the sunrise was an off red almost pink. Absolutely gorgeous!
    Congrats that you were finally able to take a minute and enjoy your wonderful piece of heaven!

    September 16, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. steve:

    The Republicans reap what they sow. They have become a party of anarchists!!

    September 16, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  25. just saying

    the answer is easy and clear. don't pass another debt increase, ever. obama needs to propose a balanced budget immediately. he said he'd balance it after his first 4 years and he lied. the house needs to pass a balanced budget. we are spending a trillion dollars a year more than we take in. cut the welfare spending to make up half of it and raise taxes on the 47% of the tax free riders in this country. you live here, pay something like everybody else.

    no more taxing future generations while we spend money like drunken sailors. fiscal responsibility, now or never. ask greece how this all plays out. it doesn't get any easier or prettier. just more costly and far more painful.

    September 16, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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