Sen. Dick Durbin expecting government shutdown

September 29, 2013

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Sunday he expects a government shutdown, a prospect for which he blamed Republicans.

"I'm afraid I do" think the government will shut down, Durbin said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Durbin blamed Republicans for bringing the country to the verge of a shut down, which will happen Tuesday if lawmakers don't pass a new spending bill. The GOP-controlled House early Sunday amended a Senate-passed stopgap spending bill to include provisions aimed at delaying Obamacare and repealing the medical device tax.

Durbin made clear that the bill would go nowhere in the Senate.

"Tomorrow, the Senate will come in session," he said. "The House position, which is basically the same one they sent us the last time, is going to be rejected again. And we're going to face the prospect of the government shutting down come midnight Monday night/Tuesday morning."

Durbin said he is willing to look at the medical device tax, "but not with a gun to my head. Not with the prospect of shutting down the government."

Sean Sullivan covers national politics for “The Fix.”
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Sean Sullivan | September 29, 2013