A Republican congressman acknowledged Monday that his party will be damaged politically by a government shutdown.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that he thinks the GOP will face a backlash if the government shuts down at midnight.
“I do, but much more importantly I think it’s just going to hurt the American people,” Cole said. “Look, we can spend a lot of time up here finger pointing about who’s to blame, but it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day if you are one of the people put out of the work or you’re one of the people that is inconvenienced and there will be tens of millions of them.”
But Cole argued that by putting forth spending measures that provide funding for the government but defund or delay the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans have done their part to avert a shutdown.
“I’ve never have been an advocate for a government shutdown and, frankly, for the record neither is our party,” Cole said. “We’ve said repeatedly we do not want to shut down the government. And actually every bill that we’ve put on the floor has kept the government going. So it’s actually the Democrats in a sense that are more anxious or willing to go there. Now politically I think that could well to their advantage.”
When Todd suggested that it was irrational for Republicans to risk a government shutdown unless President Barack Obama agrees to gut his signature legislative achievement, Cole said he disagreed but said his party has taken a “strong position” on the matter.
A poll released Monday morning showed that congressional Republicans will receive more blame for a government shutdown than Obama.