Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said last night that “eventually both parties will be beat up” if the government shutdown drags on.
Paul suggested on Fox that the outrage over the administration’s oddly prioritized closures is distracting from the game-playing over default.
“I think they do deserve some ridicule for what they’re doing. I mean, the whole World War II monument idea. But then there are some more serious — you know, they’re playing games with the shutdown of government,” Paul said on Fox.
“But what’s more serious than that is they’re also playing games with defaulting. And that does scare the markets, and I think it’s irresponsible of the president or Jack Lew or any of his men or women to go out on TV and say, Oh, the U.S. might default. That’s simply scaring the marketplace. We have never defaulted. We will never default. And there’s not even a reason to default because we have plenty of revenue that comes every month to pay our interest payment.”
Paul stressed he’s “always said a shutdown was a bad idea.”
“I didn’t want to be where we are now. But now that we are here, neither party wins. And if they really can fool themselves and think, Oh, we’re winning, the longer we do this, Republicans are getting beat up — eventually, both parties will be beat up. Everybody’s going to be frustrated,” he said.
The presumed 2016 hopeful said “eventually” Democratic colleagues might come to him for negotiations, but “right now, no.”
“They think they’re winning this political battle. They’re happy to watch. They think it’s a political battle and it’s a bit of gamesmanship for them,” Paul continued. “But what I would tell you — when you look at this and you look at what’s happening with these things, they’ve been saying they want a clean CR, which is a spending bill without riders. All of the things that we’re passing in the House that you just mentioned — Veterans Affairs, NIH — those are clean CRs. They’re just small spending bills.”
President Obama has vowed to veto any of those small spending bills that make it to his desk, but they haven’t yet made it past the Senate.
“And that’s really the way it was intended to happen,” Paul said. “Historically, around here, we would pass 12 spending bills a year. And you couldn’t shut down government if we were doing our job properly. If Harry Reid had brought forth appropriation bills, there would be no spending to hold as leverage or there would be no shutdown. But he hasn’t brought up any of the appropriations bills.”