“It certainly was a shame when Republicans engaged in a strategy to shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act, and that was — there were bad consequences for that government shutdown,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.
“We would hope that Republicans wouldn’t do the same thing again, to shut down the government over a common-sense, bipartisan effort to try to mitigate at least some of the worst problems that are caused by our broken immigration system,” he added.
“Well, I do believe that the speaker on a number of occasions said that there were not going to be steps taken by Republicans to shut down the government over health care,” Earnest said last month. “We did see that that happened. So again, maybe that means that you need to ask him a little bit more about whether impeachment is on the table or not, and maybe he can give you a more detailed answer than he has thus far.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., have speculated that if Obama acts unilaterally on immigration, it could initiate another funding fight and shut down the government.
The White House is banking that such chatter would mobilize the Democratic base and become fodder for fundraising appeals, much as the impeachment speculation did, Republicans argue.
“It’s laughably predictable,” said one House GOP leadership aide. “Here we go again.”