Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is not ruling out the possibility of a government shutdown, CNN reports.
Most Republicans demanding to slash federal spending won’t entertain the idea of taking a possible standoff with President Obama so far that the government shuts down.
But the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee told CNN Monday he’s not ruling out that possibility “if the President just stonewalls – refuses to pass anything that will be responsible.”
In 1995, when Republicans controlled all of Congress and a spending stalemate resulted in a government shutdown, President Clinton went on to win re-election.
Most Republicans remember that as a politically disastrous move they don’t want to repeat. Sessions says there was an upside – the country’s fiscal condition did get better.
“It worked out good for the country. We had three years of balanced budgets that would never have happened had they not fought that hard in Congress so I think that Congress does have to fight,” said Sessions.
Sessions said he is worried that the “gulf” between what Republicans want in spending cuts and what President Obama will tolerate may be too hard to bridge.
Sessions “also told CNN he likes an idea proposed by House conservatives in the so-called Republican Study Group to go well beyond that – cut spending back to 2006 levels, which they say adds up to $2.5 trillion in savings over 10 years.”
“Yes to go back to 2006 levels, that’s just four years ago,” said Sessions. “The country isn’t going to sink into the ocean if we reduce spending that much. That would make a significant difference in our deficits, sending a message to the world that we’re serious and I think create more confidence in our economic growth.”