Cantor: Obama shares blame if GOP shuts down government

By David Edwards
Sunday, November 7, 2010 15:57 EDT
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In 1995, the federal government shut down because President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress were not able to agree on a budget. With the Republicans set to take back over the House in 2011, history could be repeating itself.

Eric Cantor, the number two Republican in the House, refused to take a federal government shutdown off the table Sunday and said that President Barack Obama shares responsibility in running the government.

“The chief executive, the president, is as responsible as any in terms of running this government,” Cantor told Fox News’ Chris Wallace. “The president has a responsibility, as much or more so than Congress, to make sure that we are continuing to function in a way that the people want.”

Think Progress noted:

A “shutdown” occurs when Congress fails to appropriate money to fund the federal agencies. As a result, nearly every federal employee is sent home, including the officials who cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid checks. In other words, by threatening a shutdown, Cantor is holding the incomes of millions of American seniors hostage unless Obama complies with his petty demands.

After Republicans won control of Congress in 1994, Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) engaged in a game of chicken with Clinton. The president refused to approve a budget with deep cuts and Gingrich refused raise the debt ceiling. During times of deficit spending, the debt ceiling must be raised to keep the government from going into default.

The standoff resulted in the federal government being shut down from November 14 through November 19, 1995 and from December 16, 1995 to January 6, 1996. The public decided that Republicans had overplayed their hand and Clinton enjoyed his highest approval ratings since being elected.

This video is from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast Nov. 7, 2010.

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David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LMNY5JML6Z2VZB3MBIAKNPUJT4 fritz

    If you think that the Repulicans or the Democrate care about the Amerian Pepole we are all wrong because the do not care about us every one in the house and in the Senate is a millionaire, they will all get there paychecks

  • Anonymous

    Eric Cantor’s real agenda is to make sure Obama is not re-elected,,,why else would he go to a foreign country and tell (Israel) the prime minister he was on their side and not our President’s,,,,I call that a traitor to America!!!! These three men McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor have come out since Obama was elected to state they will get rid of him…Boehner just made the statement,,,”I’m just the speaker’? Yeah Boehner,,,so stop the crocodile tears and start leading!!!