|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Senate Democrats appear increasingly nervous that Republicans intend to force a shutdown of the federal government as a political bargaining tool to force deep cuts in the federal budget. A number of Democratic senators have been warning that a federal shutdown could have dire consequences for the U.S. economy, as well as individual Americans would rely on Social Security, veterans’ benefits, and other federal programs.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) used Friday’s surprise drop in the nation’s unemployment rate — down to 9 percent, the lowest level since April 2009 — to urge Republicans to focus more on job-creation solutions, not “extreme political stunts.”
“At this critical juncture, we certainly cannot afford an extreme step like forcing a government shutdown that could send us back into a recession and put Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits and border security at risk,” Reid says. “I hope my Republican colleagues will stop playing with fire, and join us to pass responsible measures that control spending while encouraging growth. Now is the time for common-sense solutions that create jobs and strengthen the middle class, not extreme political stunts.”
This year, McConnell describes the March 4 expiration of the continuing resolution currently funding federal operations, and the looming need to raise the federal debt ceiling, as “opportunities” which might spark a fresh federal shutdown.
“Last Sunday, the Republican Leader repeatedly referred to the pending expiration of the CR and the potential breaching of the debt limit as ‘opportunities,’” says Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate. “Shutting down the government and defaulting on our debts should not be considered ‘opportunities.’ Risking millions of American jobs should not be considered an ‘opportunity.’ We need to responsibly deal with the deficit, but we should not put the livelihoods of millions of hard-working Americans in the middle of a game of political brinksmanship in Washington.”
To rein in spending and bring down the deficit, Democrats say Republicans need to drop the extreme rhetoric and support a “responsible, two-pronged approach that cuts waste while keeping our economy growing and creating jobs.”