Warner and Kaine say government shutdown unlikely

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 9:07 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (WDBJ) - The White House has ordered federal agencies to begin preparing for a government shutdown, but Virginia’s U.S. Senators say that would be a disaster.

Democrats are working to raise the debt ceiling, and approve a continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of the year. Republicans have balked at the cost, and even Democrats are at odds over the size and scope of the legislation.

But Tim Kaine and Mark Warner (both D-VA) say a default is out of the question.

“The idea that we would arbitrarily self-inflict a shutdown on our country would be stupidity on steroids,” Warner told reporters during a video teleconference. “And I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

“Democrats are not going to allow a default. We’re not going to,” Kaine said during his own conversation with reporters. “We never flirt with it. We never threaten it and we’re not going to allow it.”

Both Warner and Kaine said they are confident Congress will avoid a shutdown and default, even though the legislation cleared the House without any Republican support, and Republicans in the Senate are expected to vote against it next week.

Meanwhile, western Virginia’s Republican Representatives say the Democrats shouldn’t be surprised by the opposition.

“They pass bills that they get no Republican votes on and then wonder why they’re having some trouble,” 9th District Congressman Morgan Griffith told WDBJ7. “You know if you’re going to try to govern in this type of environment, you have to figure out where to get the votes.”

“It just shows that they are about more of the same,” said 6th District Congressman Ben Cline, “wasteful government spending and adding to this 30-trillion in debt that our children and grandchildren are going to have to pay back.”

With a narrow majority in the U.S. Senate, Democrats can’t afford to lose the support of any Democratic Senators. Negotiations continue on the size and scope of the spending plans. But in the end, Warner and Kaine said they anticipate a deal that will prevent a government shutdown.

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