Just as they did with the sequester, Democrats will try to blame Republicans for a potential government shutdown or cuts to the budget that may occur as part of a new debt deal this fall.
Politico reported that, “President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies are eager to tag the GOP as the root cause of Washington dysfunction.” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Executive Director Kelly Ward told the publication that Democrats are planning to highlight “the inability of Republicans to actually govern” and make that into a central “narrative” going into the 2014 midterm elections.
Even though the sequester idea originated in the White House, as Bob Woodward documented, Obama and Democrats tried to blame Republicans for the calamity that it would cause. Those tactics largely backfired, as a majority of Americans favored the across-the-board budget cuts.
Yet House Republicans and their advisers still remain fearful of Democrats and their tactics that have just recently failed, believing that a government shutdown over de-funding Obamacare or budget cuts would lose Republicans the House.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), a former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, said, “If you ask me what is the one thing that could reshuffle the deck on an otherwise stable mid-term environment in 2014, the answer is a government shutdown.” Brock McCleary, a GOP pollster and former NRCC deputy executive director, agreed, saying the “only way Republicans will lose the House is to shut down the government or default on the debt.”
The current continuing resolution to fund the government expires on Sept. 30, and the nation is set to hit its borrowing limit shortly after. Republicans have a 17-seat majority in the House and only four Republicans represent Districts that lean Democratic, which means Republicans will be more vulnerable from the right. Republican voters in most Republican House Districts want them to be more fiscally conservative and de-fund Obamacare.
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) said his voters would “rather see Republicans veer more to the right” on fiscal matters, and Chris Chocola, the president of the Club for Growth, said, “the greatest risk for Republicans is for them to continue to disappoint their supporters. I don’t think they’ve inspired them or given them a reason to support them in quite a while.”
“At some point, they have to communicate to people there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats,” he told the publication.