House Democrat: If there’s a shutdown, Republicans are to blame


House Democrat John Yarmuth of Kentucky fears the government is headed toward shutdown by Sept. 30, and it’s the Republicans in his chamber who are to blame.

“It’s basically because the Republicans in the House refuse to be a part of a governing coalition…they’re on an ideological mission,” he said Saturday on Weekends with Alex Witt.

Yarmuth, a member of the House Budget Committee, said House Republicans are unable to act unilaterally as a result of the ideological factions within their own party. He said House Speaker John Boehner could take a page from his Democratic predecessor Nancy’s Pelosi’s playbook to pass legislation despite ideological differences.

“She would have basically put the hammer down, would have talked about committee assignments and financial help and so forth, or denying it. She would have been a very – she was and is a very, very tough leader. Speaker Boehner doesn’t act – doesn’t function that way, but he’s going to have to or else he’s going to put – bring the government to a screeching halt,” Yarmuth said.

The Kentucky congressman explained the ramifications of Congress failing to pass a continuing budget resolution: The economy would be deeply affected especially because the “federal government is 20 to 25% of the economy,” and Congress’ reputation would continue to decline in the eyes of constituents.

“An overreaching fear is that I think the American people have clearly lost confidence in the Congress’ ability to govern.” Financial markets would follow suit, he added.