On Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) urged House Republicans to not shut down the federal government.
“I hope my colleagues in the House who believe we need to shut down the government will understand that that’s not want the American people want,” McCain said on CNN. “They hate government, but they don’t want it to stop functioning.”
President Barack Obama and Republicans have to agree on another resolution to fund the government before the current resolution expires on September 30. As The Hill notes, at least a third of House Republicans want the Republican leadership to use the next round of budget negotiations to defund Obamacare before the Obamacare exchanges go into effect on October 1. Last week, the House postponed a vote on a continuing resolution to fund the government because conservative House members balked at what they said was a gimmick and another “symbolic” vote that did not take any meaningful steps to defund Obamacare.
“I think we’re in for some very serious problems here. I think the Republicans ought to understand that if we shut down the government, Congress always gets blamed rightly or wrongly,” McCain said.
The federal government last shut down in 1995 and 1996, and the record is mixed on which party got the blame. President Bill Clinton won re-election in 1996. Republicans lost nine seats in the House, but ultimately kept their majorities in the House and the Senate, even gaining two seats in the Senate in the 1996 elections.