Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Why No One Is In the Mood for a Shutdown Fight Why No One Is In the Mood for a Shutdown Fight

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation

 

Blogs

Leadership

Why No One Is In the Mood for a Shutdown Fight

+

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., right, the House Budget Committee chairman, walks with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., left, following weekly House GOP strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 8, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Republican leaders are betting that funding the government through the end of the year at already-agreed-to levels will win the support of most members, who are more concerned with winning reelection than waging a spending fight that risks shutting down the government only weeks before the elections.

Republican leadership sees no upside in using the threat of a government shutdown to push Democrats to adopt spending levels below those set in last year's debt-limit agreement, viewing a shutdown as both a political and policy loser. And GOP leaders think there is less appetite among their members to take the debate to the brink the way they did during last summer's debate over whether to raise the nation's debt limit.

"With congressional approval ratings at historic lows, a government-shutdown fight merely reminds voters of the dysfunction of Washington, D.C., which doesn't help incumbents get reelected in Georgia, Nevada, and Ohio," said Erica Elliott, spokeswoman for House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. "We don't want some kind of dramatic shutdown fight. Shutting down the government is not what the American people want either. Americans want their government to be responsible."

Some House conservatives have argued that drastic measures, like a shutdown or allowing the country to default on its debt, is the only way to force Congress to bring spending under control. But House GOP leaders believe that they would quickly lose control of that narrative to President Obama's bully pulpit and take the brunt of the blame--while giving the president the effective foil of a broken Congress.

It's a point not lost on some of the House's most conservative Republicans.

Subscribers can read more here.

DON'T MISS TODAY'S TOP STORIES

Chock full of usable information on today's issues."

Michael, Executive Director

Concise coverage of everything I wish I had hours to read about."

Chuck, Graduate Student

The day's action in one quick read."

Stacy , Director of Communications

Great way to keep up with Washington"

Ray, Professor of Economics

Sign up form for the newsletter
MORE NATIONAL JOURNAL