Asked to rank the possibility of a government shutdown from 1 (certain shutdown) to 10 (no shutdown), House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) responded: “I would’ve said 8 two weeks ago. At this point in time, I’ll tell you 5 to 6.”
He also told reporters that Democrats, despite controlling both the Senate and the White House, would not bear any of the blame if a shutdown were to occur. In fact, he disputed the very notion that Democrats “control” Washington. “Nobody is in total control,” he said. “It’s self-evident we don’t control Washington or we wouldn’t be having this problem,” pointing out that when Democrats did control both chambers of Congress and the White House, the government did not shut down. But he neglected to mention that Democrats failed to pass a budget during that time, which is why Congress is having this debate in the first place.
Meanwhile, some Democrats like Rep. Norm Dicks (D., Wash.), ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee, aren’t afraid acknowledged their own party’s role in causing the current predication: