American politics has turned to hardball in recent years, as the crevice between the left and the right continues to grow.
At this point, there’s no telling just how far one side will go in an effort to dissuade the other, or to push back against one of Joe Biden’s many government overreaches.
The latest suggestion by the GOP, however, is bolder than anything we’ve seen in quite a while.
Funding for much of the federal government runs out at midnight on Friday — and conservative Senate Republicans, backed by their counterparts in the House, are “privately plotting to force a government shutdown” as part of “an effort to defund the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate on the private sector,” Politico’s Playbook reports, citing multiple GOP sources. Democrats are scrambling to get agreement from enough Republicans to fund the government at roughly current levels through early 2022.
“Because of the tight schedule — and Senate rules that require unanimous consent to move quickly — the senators believe they’ll be able to drag out the process well past midnight Friday,” Politico reports. If they succeed, “the government will likely shut down for several days — even if appropriators strike a bipartisan agreement to extend funding by the end of today.”
Several congressional heavy hitters were opposed, however.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that “we won’t shut down” and “nobody should be concerned about a government shutdown,” but it would only take one Republican, theoretically, to slow things up enough to trigger a shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) certainly didn’t appear convinced — he argued Tuesday that “if Republicans choose obstruction, there will be a shutdown entirely because of their own dysfunction.”