Politics

McCain says he is open to a government shutdown

Chris Moody Contributor
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Texas Sen. John Cornyn may have spoken too soon when he said “nobody” is considering a government shutdown over the $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill that Majority Leader Harry Reid has vowed to push through Congress in the lame-duck session.

Arizona Sen. John McCain sure is.

McCain said Thursday that he is not ruling out a filibuster of the pork-laden bill, even if it means shutting down the federal government.

“The fact is, we should filibuster it, no matter if we shut down the government because the American people, as you said have spoken,” McCain told CNBC host Larry Kudlow.

McCain added that he would join South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint in demanding a live reading of the nearly 2,000-page bill on the Senate floor, which would delay the bill’s progress in the chamber further.

The bill, which may have some Republican support, is loaded with about $8.3 billion in earmarks that were slipped in by members of both parties.

McCain took to his official Twitter feed this week to point out some of the more egregious examples.

“$2,000,000 million for ferry boats & terminal facilities at Port Lions, Alaska (population 237). The Ferry to Nowhere,” one tweet read. “$250,000 for a ceramics museum in Biloxi, MS – a coffee mug for everyone!” read another.

In order for the government to continue functioning past Saturday, Congress must agree on a resolution to continue funding its operations. Senate Republican leaders have said they want more time to debate the $1.1 trillion budget and would prefer a temporary stopgap measure instead to keep the lights on until February. Reid, however, is pressing to get the omnibus bill through before the end of the year. As The Daily Caller reported this week, Reid will need to convince a few Republicans to support it or someone will have to budge.

If not, the federal government could temporarily shut down first thing Sunday.

UPDATE: Just moments after McCain’s appearance on CNBC, Reid announced that he would not pursue a vote on the omnibus bill and instead take a vote on the temporary continuing resolution.

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