Sen. Ted Cruz desperately tried to blame Sen. Majority leader Harry Reid for the impending government shutdown during his appearance on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday morning. Cruz accused Harry Reid of using "brute political force" to fund Obamacare. "If we have a shutdown, it will be because Harry Reid holds that absolutist position and essentially holds the American people hostage," Cruz said. Never mind that the Obamacare bill already passed both houses and was upheld by the Supreme Court: in the mind of Ted Cruz, this government shutdown is the Democrats' fault because they won't bend to Republican wishes. "So far, Majority Leader Harry Reid has essentially told the House of Representatives and the American people, 'go jump in a lake,'" Cruz said. "He says, ‘I’m not willing to compromise, I’m not willing to even talk. His position is, 100 percent of Obamacare must be funded in all instances. Other than that, he’s going to shut the government down. Cruz complimented the efforts from House Republicans to delay Obamacare even though that plan isn't as strong as his initial proposal. He also called on Harry Reid to act on the House bill as early as possible, perhaps by convening on Sunday, despite the Democrat's promise to kill the House bill. "I hope [Reid] backs away from that ledge that he’s pushing us toward," Cruz said.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin conceded on CBS's Face the Nation that Democrats could take a closer look at the medical device tax that House Republicans included in their continuing resolution, but only under calmer circumstances. "I'm willing to look at that, but not with a gun to my head, not with the prospect of shutting down government," Durbin said. The Illinois Democrat also said he was certain the government would shutdown after the House's vote on Saturday night. Durbin blames this mess of a crisis on a small faction within the Republican party. "Seventy-five percent of Republicans in America reject this tea party strategy of shutting down government," he said.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy thinks the House can still pass another bill to keep the government open with Obamacare revisions even if the Senate rejects the bill currently on the table. "We will pass a bill -- if the Senate [rejects the current House bill] -- that will keep the government open, that will reflect the House that I believe the Senate can accept," McCarthy said on Fox News Sunday. This last minute bill "will have fundamental changes into Obamacare that can protect the economy for America." Harry Reid has said the Senate will not accept a continuing resolution that includes Obamacare concessions. The President has said he won't sign any bill that alters his landmark health care bill in any way. But McCarthy thinks "there are a lot of items on the table," because he is a sunny-eyed optimist. "We are not shutting the government down," he promised.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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