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POLITICS: PennAve

GOP aides: No chance of shutdown

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Politics,Susan Ferrechio,Immigration,Campaigns,PennAve,Budgets and Deficits,Government Shutdown

Republican aides on Capitol Hill say there is no chance of a government shutdown this fall, pushing back against a common Democratic argument heading into the midterms.

GOP staffers say the party wants to steer clear of the kind of sinking poll numbers it experienced a little more than a year ago, when House Republicans sidelined the annual spending bill in a futile attempt to defund Obamacare.

"No chance," said one knowledgeable Republican aide.

The House will return next week with less than two months remaining before the critical November elections.

Democrats in recent weeks, however, have been playing up the threat of a government shutdown at the hands of the GOP, possibly related to President Obama's potential use of executive actions to address illegal immigration.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has promised to introduce and pass by Sept. 30 a short-term measure to keep the government operating, likely until December.

Aides say polling from the last shutdown make a repeat unlikely.

“Republicans are not assured a victory in November, but one thing that will ensure them a defeat is a government shutdown,” pollster John Zogby told the Washington Examiner. “That has just not worked for them. Ever.”

Republicans were devastated in the polls in October 2013, when the government closed for 16 days due to an impasse between both parties over funding the new health care law.

A Gallup Poll taken at the time found Republican favorability had dropped 10 points in just one month to a record low of 28 percent, thanks to the shutdown.

For Republicans, Zogby said, “It was disastrous.”

It seems the GOP has learned a lesson.

Republican aides point out that even GOP lawmakers who enthusiastically backed last year’s shutdown, including Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama and Matt Salmon of Arizona are saying it’s off the table this year.

Zogby is the subject of a regular Washington Examiner feature in which he assigns a letter grade to President Obama's performance the previous week.

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