Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said a government shutdown is "very likely" as the deadline to fund the next fiscal year quickly approaches.
The House and Senate have until Sept. 30 to find a resolution and prevent a shutdown.
"So, listen, I don't think we should have a shutdown, but I agree with you that I think it is very likely," Cruz told Bloomberg on Monday. "I think the reason it is likely is I think [President] Joe Biden and [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer [D-N.Y.] both believe politically it is in their best interest to have a shutdown.
"They believe that in a shutdown, the press will eagerly blame it on Republicans, and I think Biden and Schumer think they get a political benefit from it. So, I think their incentive is to try and force a shutdown. By the way, Schumer did that previously as well, and I think we're likely headed to the same thing."
Cruz helped lead the 2013 government shutdown as part of a broader effort to force then-President Barack Obama to strip federal funding for the Affordable Care Act, the Washington Examiner reported.
That shutdown lasted 16 days, the third longest in U.S. history.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday told his fellow Republican conference members that they should be prepared to stay through this weekend to pass a stopgap measure (a continuing resolution) that would keep government offices open past the Sept. 30 deadline.
However, the Republican-led House and Democrat-led Senate appropriators have marked up government funding bills at different spending levels the past few months.
Schumer, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray, D-Wash., and ranking member Susan Collins, R-Maine, has led an effort in which the Senate advanced the 12 annual appropriations bills by using spending levels agreed upon by Biden and McCarthy to avert a debt default in May.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., has objected to combining any of the bills to be passed in a faster time frame, but senators are expected to vote on a measure to get around Johnson's blockade. The vote will require 67 votes to pass.
With various senators upset over the defense caps in the deal, Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pledged to bring a supplemental defense spending bill up for a vote later in the year, the Examiner reported.
Charlie McCarthy ✉
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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