Less than a week after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s communication team singled out and excoriated a Republican for saying that a government shutdown was “a possibility,” the Nevada senator said the exact same thing.
“Of course it’s a possibility,” Reid said Tuesday of a possible shutdown. “That’s what we’re trying to avoid. It shouldn’t be a possibility, but with Republicans headed in the direction they are of course it’s a possibility. And that’s too bad.”
Reid joined New York Sen. Chuck Schumer last Friday in a statement blasting Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson for saying a shutdown could occur. Both senators have spent the past two weeks calling on Republicans to take the option completely off the table.
“We need to know: do House Republican leaders agree with Chairman Simpson that a shutdown may happen? Is it an acceptable possibility to them? They need to say so, one way or the other,” Schumer said in the joint statement. “It is time for the House Republicans to stop with the games and finally rule out a government shutdown once and for all. Stop being coy about it and take it off the table.”
Reid’s remarks Tuesday were in defense of Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, who conceded earlier that day that a shutdown could happen if Democrats and Republicans do not reach an agreement on a resolution to fund the government until the next fiscal year by March 4.
Saying that a shutdown is “a possibility” is a first for Reid, who flatly rejected it “under any circumstances” just two weeks ago.