Sen. Mike Lee: Obama planned government shutdown
Freshman Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) said on the Senate floor Thursday that President Barack Obama might have been planning for the government to shut down all along.
“When the president had both Houses under the control of his party, why did he opt not to pass a budget for fiscal year 2011?” Lee asked.
“It was either irresponsible on one hand or deliberate and malicious on the other with intention to bring about a sequence of events that would culminate inevitably in a government shutdown,” he continued.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) conceded Thursday morning that a government shutdown was likely, after a late-night meeting Wednesday between Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, and himself.
The government will be forced to shut down unless a spending measure is approved by midnight on Friday.
“We have to be willing to cast blame where blame is due,” Lee, who helped found the Tea Party Caucus, said. “The blame here cannot and, as long as I’m standing, will not be placed at the feet of the Republican Party or tea party. We do not want a shutdown. If we have one, it will be because the president of the United States and members of the other party in this august body have refused to put forward a palatable, defensible budget.”
A Gallup poll released Wednesday found that a majority of Americans want to see the two parties compromise and reach a budget deal, but a majority of Republicans wanted their leaders to “[h]old out for the basic budget plan they want, even if that means the government shuts down.”