House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said Monday there’s no such thing as a “good” government shutdown, but the current standoff is the worst thing he’s seen in his 30-plus years in Congress.
Mr. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said the shutdown in 1995 was more about educational spending than “playing chicken with the credit and reputation of the United States of America,” and that cooler heads prevailed.
Back then, he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “We had people who thought, ‘This is not really a reasonable policy, let’s get real.’ “
He said lawmakers typically sit in a budget conference, talk out their differences and compromise.
That could still be done with a short-term deal to extend the window for negotiations, he said, as the right wing of the House Republican majority holds firm on its demand for concessions from Democrats and President Obama as part of any deal.
The GOP’s most ardent demand, to defund or delay the new health care law, has faded to a degree in recent days.
“This was a tactic to do something they knew they couldn’t do, and that was to defund Obamacare,” Mr. Hoyer told MSNBC.