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Top Republican: Be ready for partial shutdown

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Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, said in an op-ed published Friday that a partial government shutdown may be the only way to restore “fiscal sanity” to the federal budget.

Mr. Cornyn, a Texas Republican who voted for this week’s “fiscal cliff” tax deal, said there are three more debt and spending deadlines looming over the next few months, and said Congress should be ready to miss those deadlines and let government services shut down in order to win the fight.

“It may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well-being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece, Italy and Spain,” he said in an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle.

His call echoes that of other Republicans who, after losing this week’s tax fight to Mr. Obama, are increasingly taking a tougher line.

Mr. Cornyn said that should be a warning to President Obama, who has said he will not negotiate changes to spending with Republicans in exchange for another increase in the government’s borrowing ability.

But even if he won’t negotiate on that one, Mr. Obama will be unable to avoid negotiations over the annual spending bills, which run out on March 31.

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