In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Spokesman: McConnell Has Not Called For Shutting Down The Government

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Newscom

Sen. McConnell believes we have made a good first step by forcing the majority to accept reduced spending in next year's appropriations bills, but we have much more work to do in order reverse the trend of massive growth in government we have seen under Democratic Control in Congress. We can get there without shutting down the government, but it will require Democrats to join our effort.

In other words, the goal is not a government shutdown, but if Democrats don't play along, a government shutdown might happen anyhow. McConnell may not be "positive" about the idea of a shutdown, but that doesn't mean it won't happen if the two parties reach an impasse.

That will get better marks with the Tea Party movement, whose leaders were none too pleased when House Minority Whip Eric Cantor basically said a shutdown won't happen.

About The Author

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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com