WASHINGTON -- With growing talk about another potential government shutdown, Democrats this week are launching a new website to remind Republicans about their promises to avoid a similar scenario before Washington lurched to a halt last year.
The website, titled "Shutdown Broken Promises," will highlight statements made by Republicans last year vowing to avoid a government shutdown. The first promise, made by Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) in August, was followed by her vote against a deal to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling just a few months later.
"The American people won’t make the mistake again of trusting this Republican Congress not to put us through unnecessary worry. It’s time for real action, not just empty rhetoric," the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a statement.
Despite assurances by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that House Republicans would not shut down the government, the tactic is finding a receptive audience among some of their counterparts in the Senate.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) hinted this week that Republicans could use the budget process to try to block a likely presidential executive action on deportations. Lawmakers will have just 10 working days to agree to a continuing resolution to fund the government once they return from recess in September. Injecting immigration into the mix by pushing to block expected deportation relief for undocumented immigrants could increase the chances of another government shutdown.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is in a tight race for re-election, is certainly itching for a fight with Obama. He laid out his intention to use spending bills in similar fashion to force skirmishes with the White House should Republicans retake the upper chamber to a room full of wealthy conservatives two months ago, according to audio obtained by The Nation magazine on Wednesday.
"So in the House and Senate, we own the budget," he said at a Koch brothers summit in June. "So what does that mean? That means that we can pass the spending bill. And I assure you that in the spending bill, we will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing what's called placing riders in the bill. No money can be spent to do this or to do that. We're going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board ... All across the federal government, we're going to go after it."