Thursday, March 31, 2011

Scott Rigell Says He's Willing to See a Government Shutdown

After Joe Biden met with Senate Democrats yesterday, he told reporters that there had been a deal struck on the budget which would lead to about $33 billion in cuts. Although the Republicans had been fighting for $61 billion in cuts, this compromise would still result in the biggest single year budget cut and could therefore easily be spun as a win for the GOP. Instead of actively spinning this as a victory, however, the potential divide appears to have exposed a divide in the Republican Party.

In an attempt to appeal to the Tea Party wing of the GOP that helped so many freshmen members of Congress get elected, we're seeing several Republicans say they won't support the compromise. Despite the fact that some veteran members of the GOP appear to have been taking part in private negotiations, the freshmen have publicly displayed an attitude of "bring on the government shutdown." Instead of even trying to pretend as though he's worried about a shutdown, Virginia's own Scott Rigell even told the Washington Post that he basically places the extreme policies of the Tea Party over keeping the government running.
Rep. E. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), another freshman, said he would not comment on a specific compromise until it was struck. But, he said, he was willing to allow a government shutdown if cuts were not aggressive enough.

“If the objective of keeping the government open is such a high priority that one is willing to accept potentially continual increases in the federal debt [through large amounts of deficit spending], I’m not in that camp,” Rigell said.
On Capitol Hill in recent weeks, staffers have been trying to paint a picture that portrays the opposing party as the one that should be held responsible for a potential government shutdown. That is why John Boehner has been telling the press that Republicans only "control one-half of one-third of the government here” and Eric Cantor displayed his ignorance of the legislative process when trying to place blame on the Democrats. The outright refusal of Rigell and his fellow freshmen Republicans to come to the negotiating table, however, help to make it clear that the GOP should bear the responsibility if we do have a government shutdown.


  1. Interested in reading the article-link for the Post article-I was unable to find any comments from Rigell. Was there another article?

  2. The block quote that was posted in this post was in the original article. Here's a link to another blog that posted a large portion of the article, including the Rigell quote:

    I've emailed the reporters asking for comment on why there wasn't update about why the quote was removed and will let you know if I hear anything.

  3. I've received word that the quote was used when it was a web piece, but due to space considerations it was taken out when it was edited for the the paper. Wasn't anything wrong with the quote, just a space consideration.