Speaker John Boehner has the power to stop the government shutdown, which looms over the country this week, New York's Sen. Chuck Schumer said Monday.
The GOP-led House has attached a provision to its government spending bill that defunds Obamacare--something the Democrat-controlled Senate (and White House) have said is a non-starter, paving the way for a government shutdown on Oct. 1, the first day citizens have the choice to sign up for insurance under the new Obamacare exchanges.
"It's real people with real lives at stake, and just to sacrifice them to the right-wing gods for the sake of a day or two of showing, 'Oh, yes, we're serious,' is a very cynical operation," the Democratic senator said on Morning Joe. "And maybe, there's a chance--I wouldn't say a majority chance, but still a chance--they'll come to their senses before midnight tonight."
If the government shuts down this week, Congressional Republicans will receive 46% of the blame, according to a new CNN poll. President Obama will receive 36% of the criticism, followed by a combination of the GOP in Congress and the president at 13%.
"It's outrageous that this is being done," he said.
The senator said leaders cannot continue governing like this; that this kind of "extortion" is different than any kind of economic dispute that couldn't be resolved in the past.
"If we stand up, hopefully before midnight but certainly shortly after midnight, if God forbid the government has to shut down for a little bit, the Republicans will come to their senses," he said. "The closer we get to shutdown, the more the disparity will be."
Watch more on Morning Joe.