Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) has been a leading opponent of passing another short-term bill to avoid a government shutdown while sides work out a longer-term plan. Now, he says we should "shut it down" if Democrats don't agree to the kind of cuts Republicans are proposing.
"I think if liberals in the Senate are unwilling to embrace even this modest step toward fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C., then I say shut it down," he told MSNBC's Contessa Brewer.
Pence seemed like he could get on board with a compromise when I talked to him yesterday, at the tea party rally on Capitol Hill.
"The numbers that are being thrown around are giving a whole new meaning to 'fuzzy math,'" he said when I asked him about cutting $33 billion from last year's spending levels, as Vice President Joe Biden said this week that sides have converged on that number.
"I think H.R. 1 is the deal," Pence said, referencing the bill, passed by House Republicans and rejected by Senate Democrats, to cut $61 billion. "I think Republicans need to dig in."
But he did not say, "No: there will be no compromise." I got the sense--and it was just a sense--that some kind of deal in that range is feasible, even if Pence and other conservative House members are indeed willing to "shut it down."