WASHINGTON – With a week left to reach a deal needed to avoid a government shutdown, some lawmakers seem resigned – if not rushing – to that end.
Most say they don’t want the first government shutdown since 1996. But if the government happens to shut down, so be it. Republicans say it fulfills their pledge to dismantle Democrats’ health care overhaul, while Democrats defending the law remember that similar standoffs gave them political gains.
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican tea party favorite from Texas, says a government shutdown is inevitable unless Democrats abandon the Affordable Care Act.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says those who back a defund-or-else strategy are, quote, “legislative arsonists” who want to see the government shuttered.
Discussions are continuing on Capitol Hill.