Most vulnerable GOP senator on shut down: 'Nobody else’s fault but the Republican Party'


No wonder voters blame the Republicans. Even Republicans do.

Conceding the obvious back in August when he admitted that the Republican Party would be to blame for any government shutdown, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller now finds himself firmly inside the GOP camp and having to contradict himself as the Republican-controlled Congress races towards a shutdown.

Heller has been dubbed the most vulnerable senator facing re-election in 2018. He's the only Republican senator running in a state that Hill Clinton won in 2016. And his blatant flip-flop on the shutdown is only likely going to add to his political woes.

For now, Heller's reading off the official GOP talking points.

“Despite the Democrats’ political spectacle, I’m pleased that the House ultimately passed the continuing resolution,” he said Thursday after Republicans in the House OK'd a short-term spending bill that currently does not have enough votes to pass in the Senate. That bill is needed to keep the government funded.

If it fails, Republicans will try to pin blame for the federal work stoppage on Democrats. But voters aren't buying it. A strong plurality in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, they say they'll fault Republicans if the government closes up shop on Friday. Just like they faulted Republicans in 1996 and 2103.

Perhaps one reason so many people blame Republicans, aside from the fact that the GOP firmly controls all levers of power in the government, is because Republicans like Heller have also previously blamed Republicans.

"As a party, it's not in our best interest to shut the government down," Heller told NBC News last summer. "There will be no excuses and nobody else's fault but the Republican Party if this government gets shut down."

Six months ago most Republicans, including Heller, likely thought it was a virtually impossible that the shutdown would occur this year.

But under Donald Trump's watch anything is possible. And last week when he destroyed on-going negotiations with Democrats over the issue of immigration by degrading African countries as "shitholes," Trump made sure the government would careen towards a possible closure.