House Dem Fears for Gov’t Shutdown Next Week

As Congress inches ever closer to a government shutdown, a leading House Democrat is concerned that a compromise will not be reached in time to avoid it, saying too many on Capitol Hill see an agreement as a "sellout."

"I'm very concerned about the status of the [Continuing Resolution] and whether we can pass a CR," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters at the National Journal's Insider's Conference Tuesday.

"Very frankly, I think there's an opportunity for agreement. It should be through a compromise. Unfortunately, there are a number of new people in the Congress who think that a compromise is a sellout."

"The 'Perfectionist Caucus' is wagging the tail of the Republican dog," Hoyer said.

There have already been six patchwork bills to keep the government running, and there is little appetite from Republican newbies and some Democrats for yet another. But forging an agreement on a new temporary bill seems less than likely.

Hoyer said the government shutdowns of 1995-96 were disruptive then, but is likely to be even more disruptive now. Hoyer also said he thought the chances of a shutdown were more ripe this week than last.

During a meeting later with reporters, Hoyer said that he believed that negotiators were "close to a framework of an agreement."

"Compromise is available to us," Hoyer said. "There ought to be a way in which we can reach an agreement."

Senate Democrats seem to share the consensus that House Republicans are failing to keep their freshmen in line. In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, some Senate Dems plan to "urge Speaker Boehner to stop allowing Tea Party extremists to dictate the terms of the budget debate."