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. Ol' Yeller

    @Think Again. I admire your efforts to explain things logically and reasonably to Rick McDaniels, but I believe it is a futile effort. He has blamed Obama for everything from the sinking of the Maine to the Boehner assassination.
    He's a bit 'out there' in his thinking...

    September 16, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Anthony

    Republicans control the House, so it is their job to write a budget that cuts the wasteful spending. The president actually cannot spend any money that Congress has not approved. Unfortunately, Republicans don't know what to cut from the budget, because they don't know where the wasteful spending is. They know where the money is, but they don't want to cut defense spending, and they don't want to tell seniors that spending on seniors is the biggest part of the budget other than defense.

    September 16, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Heresssss Johnny!

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

    Expecting a government to act fiscally responsible is anarchy??? Well, that's liberals for you. They think the checkbook and credit card is limitless. Well, I guess it is is you we all give everything we make to the government and let them send us our living allowance.

    September 16, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. sonny chapman

    Aw c'mon Repubs; SHUT ER DOWN. I'm sure, after my reading of the Four Gospels, that's what Jesus would do. Except for the part that says, "Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the Children of God". Matthew 5,9.

    September 16, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. Donna

    Government shutting down won't hurt me one iota. Then again, I'm not a government dependent. BTW, I'm sure the government shutting down will not mean that they stop ripping my pay check off every week.

    Actually, this is the usual Democrat/liberal/leftist/progressive BS play. They just love to scare everybody, especially the older people. They will do or say anything to keep their welfare supporters rolling in taxpayer money. If the Republicans pass a bill funding everything except Obamacare and the Democrats and Obama refuse to sign it, why is it the Republcians that are "shutting down government"? That's a total lie. It is the Democrats that refuse to fund the government in order to protect their train wreck aka Obamacare.

    September 16, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    Wake Up: 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!

    Thank you, Wake Up. As with you there have so many been times this past 6 years we wish we could take it all in as we were used to doing. We had considered selling, but as you so eloquently stated in your beautiful comment some things are just too precious to give up. Those are the days most worth living for. If worse comes to worse, we can live up there (and would more than likely be happier for doing so).

    Hang in there, Wake Up. It does get better. But, I know how hard it is. Truly I do. I've watched a good decent hard working man ... a grown man ... turn gray before his time filled with nothing but anxiety and emotional turmoil. Thank goodness I at least was able to get my full retirement when it all came crashing down. He did not.

    Both of you deserve better.

    September 16, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Sniffit

    "Expecting a government to act fiscally responsible is anarchy???"

    That' a gross and misleading overgeneralization. Responsible governments that need to fund necessary programs use their power of taxation to raise the revenue required to fund said necessary programs. They don't rely on ridiculous ideological daydream brain farts that posit that "if we make the rich even richer by cutting their taxes, it will magically trickle down to the rest of us instead of them just hording and consolidating it in offshore bank accounts, because the wealthy love to share." Responsible governments also don't tolerate partisan hostage taking based on threats to shut the entire government down or force the nation to default on all of its debt obligations as a means of blackmailing everyone else. Responsible governments raise taxes when they go to war, instead of pretending that starting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq don't require revenue increases. Responsible governments don't squander a budget surplus that could have been used to pay down debts and revitalize necessary programs, instead handing out massively inequitable tax breaks to the wealthy on the backwards nonsense theory that "tax cuts increase revenue." Responsible governments don't enact all sorts of voting restrictions and deterrents based on disproven, debunked demagoguery about imaginary voter fraud. Responsible governments don't vote symbolically 41 times for the pony they wanted for Xmas even though they know full well that the legislation is dead on arrival. Need I continue? I can go on for quite a while here.

    September 16, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. rs

    Mc Cain is right- a shut down is pointless- especially as the threat, and for the reasons the crazies have outlined.

    Here's the thing though: GOP- go ahead, shut it down. Show Americans how much you really hate America and the government. Do it. You'll never get elected again. For that- it would be worth it.

    September 16, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    BREAKING NEWS: CBO Report Discredits Idea Tax Cuts Increase Government Revenue
    There is a report that was published during the Bush administration by theCongressional Budget Office, “Sources of Growth and Decline in Individual Income Tax Revenues Since 1994,” May 2008. Refer to page 11. During the Bush administration.

    The Congressional Budget Office report states, the “best estimates of taxpayers’ response to changes in the capital gains tax rates do not suggest a large revenue increase from additional realizations of capital gains — and certainly not an increase large enough to offset the losses from lower rates.”

    In other words, capital gains rate cuts, like other tax cuts, lower revenue in the long run. Especially when a capital gains cut is temporary, like the 2003 Bush Tax Cuts, investors have a strong incentive to realize their capital gains before the old, higher rate returns

    September 16, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Wake up People!

    Thank you Lynda for all the kind words you give to myself and other posters here. It does help. And I will continue to hang in there because I have no other choice. My grandmother always said, if it don't kill you it makes you stronger. And living by that motto I think I have the strength of 10 men!! Another thing my wise grandmother used to say.....this too shall pass.
    Have a great day!!

    September 16, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. rs

    Expecting a government to act fiscally responsible is anarchy??? Well, that's liberals for you.
    Remind me exactly which president gave the rich the largest tax cut ever, and started two unfunded wars at the same time, then set forth one of the largest expansions of Medicare?
    Remind me again- how many budgets have come out of the House (Ryan's TEA Party campaign 20 pager doesn't count BTW)?

    Shutting down the government won't save a penny, and ending the ACA will cost a $trillion or more.

    The GOP has no clue on fiscal responsibility.

    September 16, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    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.
    That promise was made early in the 2008 presidential campaign primaries. Once the economy crashed in September 2008, all bets were off. Besides, Repubilcans promised "jobs, jobs, jobs" if they were given control of Congress. Where are the jobs? No way that they could have lied to the American People, is it?. The record shows that Republicans have only been focused right wing social engineering since taking over the House in 2010.

    September 16, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Sniffit

    "They will do or say anything to keep their welfare supporters rolling in taxpayer money."

    Go live on a single person's foodstamps allotment for a week and tell us all about how you were "rolling in money"...after your trip to the ER for malnutrition that is.

    September 16, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. rs

    Tampa Tim

    Al Qaida must be amazed at the damage elected republicans are doing to our country.
    So true. I say declare them as domestic terrorists arrest the lot of the- starting with the GOP House!

    September 16, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. CC

    The House has had two sessions since the Democratic controlled House passed the ACA (Obamacare as they call it), but have niot offered one alternative or adjustment they feel would help make this a better law. All we have seen is 41 votes to defund something, with no other options being presented. The AD's they are running are sickening, and they say they are doing this for the American people. This is more of the kid with the ball (money) losing the game and wanting to take the ball and go home.
    Competiton is supposed to hold down prices and help consumers, but healthcare has been on the rise since the
    Clinton's brought it up the first time. Time to stop whining and help the American people...

    September 16, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. Wake up People!

    @rs and Tampa Tim.....
    I've been saying that for the past 2 years. Al Quaida(sp) can sit back and pray for more virgins while the traitors in the GOP destroy America.

    September 16, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. Gunderson

    Oh Wow,
    After 80 plus years of liberal politics this is where we are. Broke, Ruined, and Destitute. Big Liberal Politics glaring failure but peasants still no understand. Nanny Staters no understand Fiscal Responsabilty. Everybody want benefits but no pay. How long that last? . . Why Union's scream Putin Care killing 40 hour work week.

    Hey, old Gunderson no care keep running up debt.

    September 16, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair


    @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?
    You've been responding to the latest incarnation of a fake Fair.

    September 16, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC


    Government shutting down won't hurt me one iota. Then again, I'm not a government dependent. BTW, I'm sure the government shutting down will not mean that they stop ripping my pay check off every week.

    Actually, this is the usual Democrat/liberal/leftist/progressive BS play. They just love to scare everybody, especially the older people. They will do or say anything to keep their welfare supporters rolling in taxpayer money. If the Republicans pass a bill funding everything except Obamacare and the Democrats and Obama refuse to sign it, why is it the Republcians that are "shutting down government"?
    If Democrats are trying to scare everyone, then why is it that the Republicans threatening to shut down the government if there is nothing scary about it? Explain that, please. The Republicans hold up an axe. Democrats cry out, "Look, they're threatening everyone with an axe." And, then the Republicans say, "No, were not." while blaming the Democrats for trying to scare people?

    If the Republicans pass a budget that does not fund Obamacare, then they would be in violation of the ACA, the health care reform law. It's the law of the land, not discretionary spending, which the House can control from year to year. It's a complete lie to claim that you can "defund Obamacare". Besides, if you do, then you would violate the Constitution, which is grounds for treason.

    September 16, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    @just saying: "he said he'd balance it after his first 4 years and he lied."

    The mistake President Obama made was in thinking that Repubs would put country ahead of party. Repubs have consistently thwarted the will of the American people who elected President Obama TWICE, have kept a Dem majority in the Senate and cast more votes for Dem candidates in the House than Repubs – by more than 1 million votes.

    If there's a problem, it's the Repubs who have no qualms making our country and her people suffer. I call that treason.

    BTW, your analogy with Greece is totally wrong: Greece doesn't have our diverse economy AND Greece has a huge problem with tax cheats.

    Further, where was all your spittle-strewn outrage when GW wiped out the Clinton surplus and cut taxes during wartime – NEVER done before in our nation's history?

    September 16, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. Data Driven


    "Putin Care"?

    But I thought Putin was your team's hero now. Or is Obamacare now a good thing? Data be confused.

    In any case, Data say: look up new Berkeley study. Rich 1% get 95% of recovery money. Big Liberal policy? Data think Gunderson confused.

    September 16, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. kirk

    Old gundy have shirt memory, demos the only one who run up debt, wars were free, and tax cuts for rich no hurt revenue. Spoken like a true rwnj

    September 16, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. Facing Reality

    It is clear that the Democrats don't believe that this massive debt is a real problem that they need to fix. Doing so would mean not being the Santa Claus Party of free goodies for everybody, party it up.

    They really do believe the only problem is that we are not taxed enough and think we need to tax the American people (the few left paying federal tax that is) another trillion dollars. Ask a Democrat or liberal how much the maximum is that the government should take in taxes. You never get a response because they truly believe they own your paycheck, not you. They truly believe you are a government slave.

    OK, I surrender.... just raise the credit limit to $999.000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 and be done with it. The future generations of Americans in 2575 will enjoy paying it all back. Party on on.

    September 16, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    You've been responding to the latest incarnation of a fake Fair.
    It's not too hard to figure which one of the relative newcomer, neo-Libertarians around here keeps posting under avatar names.

    September 16, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  25. kirk

    Short memory

    September 16, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
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