WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Tuesday that shutdowns pose a political liability for his party as Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to keep the government open.
At his weekly news conference Tuesday afternoon, McConnell, R-Ky., made it very clear that he is “not a fan of government shutdowns.”
“I’ve seen a few over the years. They have never produced policy change and have always been political losers for Republicans,” he said.
McConnell’s comments come as Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans work to pass a short-term funding bill that would allow the government to continue operating through Oct. 31, despite the opposition from hardline conservatives. But even if this funding measure succeeds in clearing the House, it is loaded with conservative policy provisions that render it dead upon arrival in the Senate.
With less than two weeks to act, a shutdown at the end of the month appears more and more likely.
Asked about the House bill to keep the government funded for another month, McConnell said he supports “what the President is trying to accomplish because he’s trying to avoid a government shutdown.” .
“So we are lobbying for the President and hoping to move forward,” he added.
McConnell declined to make predictions about what the House would do.
“What I think is critically important to the American people is that the government not shut down. … But I can’t predict exactly how this will end. We’ll see what the House will do and act accordingly,” he said. .