Hoyer: Shutdown Likely, but Dems Not to Blame

by Andrew Stiles

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:

UPDATE: Dicks isn’t the only one:
Former Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) said Tuesday, no matter how budget negotiations between the White House and Congressional Republicans play out, it’s President Obama who will get the blame if the government shuts down.
“I think that voters always focus on the executive as the responsible officer,” Davis said. “There is this belief in Democratic circles that because Republicans are so intransigent about spending cuts that they’ll get the blame. But people expect the president to bring all sides together, especially when he’s made that one of his selling points.”
More here.

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