As lawmakers on Capitol Hill weigh the possibility of a government shutdown next month, one prominent senator expressed confidence that a resolution will not get reached.
“I think there’s a significant chance of a government shutdown. And the reason I think that is I think Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer want a government shutdown,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said on “Varney & Co.” Thursday. “I think they believe it would benefit them politically.”
The Senate is back from its summer recess a full week ahead of the House. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., noted that the Senate cleared 12 appropriations bills in committee before the recess, Fox News senior congressional correspondent Chad Pergram reported.
The Senate will advance a few individual appropriations bills in the coming weeks. And House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., will try to advance a fig leaf, interim spending package that appeases the right. The House Freedom Caucus and other conservative members will demand various provisions that either trim spending, address the border, or wrestle with potential impeachment.
But if the House does not approve the continuing resolution – which Cruz thinks will happen – a government shutdown is certain. The senator argued that Democrats would place the blame on the GOP.
“Funding for the federal government expires September 30th. And I would put the odds very high that Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer just say, ‘To hell with you, congressional Republicans,’” Cruz told host Stuart Varney.
The current breakdown in the House features 222 Republicans to 212 Democrats with one vacancy. In other words, Republicans can only lose four votes from their side and still pass a bill without Democratic assistance.
Cruz emphasized the importance of negotiation and coming to a compromise as the congressional body is built to do.
But, the senator said: “I don’t think Biden and Schumer want that because they want a shutdown. I think that’s probably where we’re headed.”
In Wednesday’s White House press briefing, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden’s “message in private is the same as it is in public.”
“There’s no reason… for a government shutdown. It is important for Congress to keep their promise that they made to the American people and do their job. That is it. We’ve been very clear about that…. Congress has a job to do. They need to keep the government open.”
Sen. Schumer’s office and the Council of Economic Advisers did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.