Sen. McConnell: 'There won't be another government shutdown — you can count on that'

Dylan Stableford
Yahoo News
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. Aides to Senate Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the leaders resumed talks Tuesday night and voiced optimism about striking an agreement Wednesday that could pass both houses of Congress and reach President Barack Obama's desk before Thursday, when the U.S. Treasury says it will begin running out of cash. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican who co-sponsored the bipartisan Senate bill that led to the end of the 16-day government shutdown, says the GOP will do anything to get rid of President Barack Obama's signature health care law — except shutting down the government.

"There won't be another government shutdown," McConnell said on CBS' "Face The Nation" Sunday. "You can count on that."

“Shutting down the government, in my view, is not conservative policy," McConnell continued. "I don't think a two-week paid vacation for federal employees is conservative policy. A number of us were saying in July that this strategy could not and would not work, and of course it didn't."

Instead, the Senate Minority Leader said his party is focused on securing more congressional seats in the 2014 midterm elections — and the big seat in the White House in 2016 — to thwart the Affordable Care Act.

“Obamacare is the worst piece of legislation passed in the last half century, the single biggest step in the direction of Europeanizing our country," McConnell said. "We need to get rid of it. If the American people will give us a majority in the Senate and a new president, that's exactly what we're going to do."

McConnell, who was criticized for the inclusion of a $2.9 billion provision in the bill for a dam project in his home state, said he supported the effort in the past, but denied he inserted the line that secured the funding.

Over on "Meet The Press," Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer suggested that to avoid another government shutdown, lawmakers ought to "implement the McConnell Rule, which says that Congress must disapprove, rather than approve, increases in the debt ceiling. If we were to do that, the chances of going up to the brink again, the chances of this kind of debacle, would decrease."

On ABC's "This Week," Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, said Republicans have to follow McConnell's lead and agree that "a shutdown was a bad thing all around."

"Everybody looks bad when something like this happens," Pelosi said. "I agree with the president. There are no winners in this. ... So either the Republicans didn't know or didn't care about those consequences.  I believe they do care.

She added: "We have to have common sense as we go forward. We have to go to the table understanding that we cannot shut down and we cannot place in doubt the full faith and credit of the United States of America. But we do have to recognize that among those on the Republican side are those who are anti-government ideologues and they cannot wag this dog. And they cannot wag this dog. They cannot wag this dog."

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