POLITICS: PennAve

Sen. Chuck Schumer: GOP leaders 'learned their lesson' from shutdown

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Tea Party,John Boehner,Debt Ceiling,Ted Cruz,PennAve,Chuck Schumer,Government Shutdown,Zack Colman

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sunday that he thinks Congress will raise the debt ceiling with little theatrics before the United States exhausts its borrowing authority Feb. 7.

Schumer said that Republicans and Democrats alike both want to avoid another government shutdown, as he contended the GOP has "learned their lesson" following the 16-day shutdown in October.

"I do not believe Republican leaders will follow Ted Cruz over the cliff once again. I believe we will pass a clean debt ceiling. That makes sense. We don't want to risk the full faith and credit. We can debate all these other issues at a different time and place," Schumer said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

The comments come as House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has sharply criticized outside conservative groups that back Tea Party lawmakers and candidates for having what he has characterized as an outsized influence on those members.

Schumer suggested that the Tea Party rank and file might be willing to negotiate on some efforts where its leaders, such as Cruz, the Texas senator, are not.

"The Tea Party rank and file is different. They've been fed this line that government is to blame. But when you ask them about specific programs, they are for them," Schumer said.

Most Americans blamed Republicans for the shutdown. A handful of members — led by Cruz — insisted on defunding Obamacare, despite Republicans lacking the numbers to execute that strategy.

Also speaking on "Face the Nation," Cruz rejected the idea that he threatened to shut the government down. Instead, he put the blame of President Obama.

"President Obama dug in and said he wouldn't compromise, he wouldn't negotiate," Cruz said.

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