Top senator accuses Dems of leading to government shutdown

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With the federal government’s funding deadline looming, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has warned that Democrats could force a shutdown.

With less than two weeks until the deadline, Cruz said that while he “very much” hopes lawmakers can come to an agreement, Democrats are under pressure to oppose any proposed deal.

“I will say, I’m concerned. I think [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer and the Democrats want a shutdown,” Cruz observed, as reported by the Texas Tribune.

Cruz also claimed that the Democratic Party base is demanding that its senators “engage in across-the-board obstruction” to any proposals from Republicans or President Trump.

“And so, I do have some concern that to appease the radical left, Chuck Schumer and the Democrats may do everything they can to try to provoke a shutdown,” Cruz said.

Lawmakers are currently on a two-week recess, and they will have just days after their return to Washington to pass a government funding bill to meet the April 28 deadline.

Trump’s budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, has advised legislators that some of the president’s priorities—including increased defense and border security funding—must be included in order for Trump to sign the bill.

Democrats contended that key Obamacare payments must be added to the funding bill after Trump signaled the possible cancellation of insurer reimbursements in an effort to get Democrats to negotiate on healthcare reform.

Cruz, a pivotal figure in the 2013 government shutdown, said he is withholding judgment on the government funding bill until after he sees its text.

When asked if controversial initiatives such as funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall should be included, Cruz said Congress “should use the power of the purse, use appropriation, to implement good policy.”

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