Nunes calls fellow House Republicans ‘Lemmings with suicide vests’

September 30, 2013

As a government shutdown looms, tensions are rising within Republican ranks.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had choice words for fellow House Republicans who are willing to see the government shut down over their opposition to Obamacare: "Lemmings with suicide vests," he called them.

"They have to be more than just a lemming. Because jumping to your death is not enough," he said.

"You have this group saying somehow if you’re not with them, you’re with Obamcare. If you’re not with their plan -- exactly what they want to do, you’re with Obamcare. It’s getting a little old," he said.

Nunes said he would support House leadership's latest strategy: A bill that would keep the government open but delay the individual mandate for a year. But he said that approach means a government shutdown will be all but certain.

The result for his party? "You guys ever watch 16 Candles?" he asked a small group of reporters. "You guys remember Long Duk Dong at the end? That’s going to be us tomorrow, waking up on the grass, crashed automobile. That’s us."

The beloved 1980s movie ends with the foreign exchange student passed out drunk on a lawn after crashing his wealthy suburban Chicago host family's car.

Rosalind Helderman is a political enterprise and investigations reporter for the Washington Post.
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Sean Sullivan · September 30, 2013