Politics

Shutdown blame game: Who’s really at fault if the government goes dark?

If the government shuts down, who’s to blame?

And more importantly to lawmakers — who will independent voters think is to blame?

There are two ways shutdown could be averted: one is with a long-term deal, the other is via a stopgap spending bill to allow more time for negotiation.

Republican Speaker John Boehner is pressing Democrats to pass the stopgap bill the House passed earlier this week.

That legislation would fund the Defense Department for the rest of the year, and the other parts of the government for one week.

The bill cuts $12 billion in spending, prohibits Obama from closing Guantanamo Bay, and bans the D.C. government from spending public funds on abortions.

President Obama vowed to veto the bill, calling it a “distraction” from the negotiations on a long-term deal.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also dismissed the stopgap bill.

He says the long-term negotiations are stuck over a provision banning funding for Planned Parenthood in the House-passed spending bill, H.R. 1, and says Republicans are so determined to “throw women under the bus” they’ll shut the government down.

Almost all the details about the status of the negotiations this week have been provided by Democrats and immediately denied by Boehner’s office and in some cases, Boehner himself, something to keep in mind when listening to Reid’s account.

Who do you think is to blame?