McConnell: No More Government Shutdowns (Ted Cruz Isn’t So Sure)

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 20 2013 2:12 PM

McConnell: No More Government Shutdowns (Ted Cruz Isn’t So Sure)

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks to the Senate Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on October 16, 2013

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Republicans made it clear on the Sunday talk shows that there are still deep divisions within their ranks following the 16-day government shutdown and almost-default. Even as party leaders tried hard to move on, saying government shutdowns aren’t going to become the norm, some in the rank-and-file don’t seem to quite agree. "There will not be another government shutdown,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on CBS News. “You can count on that.” McConnell added that "I don't think a two-week paid vacation for federal employees is conservative policy.” And he made it clear he has long disagreed with the strategy: “A number of us were saying back in July that this strategy could not and would not work, and of course it didn't.”

Sen. John McCain had already expressed similar sentiments a few days ago to CNN: “We’re not going to go through the shutdown again.”  But Sen. Ted Cruz said he wasn’t ready to take the option off the table, telling ABC News he is ready to “do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare.” When asked about a possible shutdown in the future, Cruz told CNN that “there will be time enough to talk about specific strategies, specific tactics.” But what Cruz does think is clear is that the agreement that ended the shutdown and avoided default “was a lousy deal for the American people.” And he criticized fellow party members for not supporting House Republicans.

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Meanwhile, former Republican Florida Gov. Jeb Bush criticized Cruz’s approach telling ABC News that the GOP needs to “show a little self-restraint” and the party may benefit from “the massive dysfunction” that he says will be the result of Obamacare.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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