GOP fears boomerang as threat of government shutdown grows

The prospect of a government shutdown grew on Wednesday as a small group of conservative Republicans demanded a vote to defund President Biden’s vaccine mandate in exchange for letting a stopgap funding measure pass by Friday’s deadline.

Republicans fear that Senate conservatives led by Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) will hold up the government funding deal for days in a maneuver that could boomerang on their party — just as a similar strategy to use a government funding measure as leverage to stop the implementation of the Affordable Care Act blew up in their faces eight years ago.

Some Republican senators are privately arguing that forcing a government shutdown would give Democrats a political lifeline at a time when Biden’s approval rating is hovering just above 40 percent.