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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Congress Ready for Replay of 1995 Government Shutdown

Courtesy of Insider

When Congress comes back from their August hiatus, the stage will be set for another standoff between the Democrats and Republicans much like the one in 1995 that led to a shutdown of the Federal government.

As the Capitol Hill Newspaper Roll Call recalled, back in ’95 then-Speaker Newt Gingrich set the stage for the shut down when the GOP controlled defied President Clinton by submitting their own budget which Clinton vetoed, leaving the Federal cupboard bare and forcing the government to close its doors.

Now Republicans are warning Democrats that if they insist on spending more than the 9 percent increase the president is willing to allow them to take the blame if the government shuts up shop after a Bush veto of spending bills.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, told Roll Call the problem is that Democrats want to increase spending by more than 9 percent.

“There’s no question we’re going to have some kind of a showdown at the end of the year,” Ryan predicted. “I don’t think an actual shutdown is necessary if we just pass straight CRs [Continuing Resolutions that keep programs going without passing new appropriation bills]. The problem is the majority might see that as a leverage point and advantage in pushing an actual shutdown so they can load up a CRs with strings.

“If they refuse to pass clean CRs, they are responsible for the shutdown, period, end of story.”  

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