Sen. McConnell: Republicans will not try another government shutdown

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U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell speaks at the Republican National Convention. (Credit: CNN)

WASHINGTON — The 16-day partial government shutdown that just ended will be the last, if Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky has anything to say about it.

In a pair of newspaper interviews Thursday, McConnell used the same Kentucky metaphor that “there’s no education in the second kick of a mule.” The Republican Senate leader said the first kick was the 1995/1996 shutdowns and this one was the second. McConnell remained firm that there will not be a third.

“There will not be a government shutdown,” McConnell told The Hill newspaper. To the National Review he said “a government shutdown is off the table. We’re not going to do it.”

It was McConnell and his counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, who negotiated the last-minute deal that funded the federal government and lifted the nation’s borrowing limit through early next year. The deal came with mostly-cosmetic changes to Obamacare, after weeks of Republican insistence that the shutdown end only with a major change to the health care law.

“I think we have fully now acquainted our new members with what a losing strategy that is,” McConnell told The Hill.

That’s not to say McConnell has given up on his distaste for the Affordable Care Act or Republican issues of lower taxes and curbing government spending, he said.

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