While Congress stepped back from the cliff and passed a continuing resolution yesterday to fund the federal government through March 18, and President Obama signed it, some GOP Congressional Insiders nonetheless remained anxious about the fallout from what could happen if there is a shutdown. "All Obama has to say is 'there they go again,'" said one Republican Member. "We know how this movie ends; why watch a repeat performance?"
Indeed, some Republicans feel that Democrats would welcome a confrontation that would send federal workers home and halt the programs they administer. "It's important to emphasize, no one in the Republican Party is seeking a shutdown," explained another GOP Congressional Insider. "With Democrats constantly mentioning it, clearly that's what they would like to see happen."
Almost 40 percent of the Democratic Congressional Insiders did think that a shutdown would work to their advantage. Some thought that the public will blame the Republicans when critical services are disrupted. Others thought that voters will come to appreciate government more and understand its proper role when it stops its normal functioning. "The public will be unhappy when the government shuts down and they lean what the government actually does by [a] stoppage," said one Congressional Insider.
But a majority of Democrats felt that their party would suffer either alone or along with Republicans. "Given the mood of the electorate a shutdown isn't likely to help anyone and will make voters hate us all even more, if that's possible," said another Democrat.
The National Journal Congressional Insiders Poll is a regular survey of Democratic and Republican members of Congress.