U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet pulled a fast one this week – he set himself up as a fierce opponent of a government shutdown then days later voted to start shutting it down by filibustering military pay and construction on the Aurora VA hospital.
Bennet was one of 42 Democrats who blocked the Defense spending bill on Tuesday from going to the Senate floor for a full vote. This year’s funding for the Pentagon and all federal agencies expires in one week, and unless the funding bills are passed by Congress the government will shut down.
Hoping to inoculate himself from any criticism for his votes to actually shut down the government, Bennet on Friday released a statement about legislation he introduced in March that would require lawmakers to stay in D.C. during shutdowns to force faster resolutions.
In all fairness, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner is also the lead sponsor on that bill, but the huge difference here is that Gardner did not vote to begin the government shutdown and actually supported the bill to keep paying our military and funding the VA hospital.
Washingtonians have dubbed this tactic deployed by Democrats as “filibuster summer.” That plan, which we told you about here and here, is to defeat every spending bill and shut down the government, to force more government spending and hurt Republican reelection efforts by blaming them for the shutdown.
So the next time you see Bennet posturing with legislation to quickly resolve government shutdowns, keep in mind that he’s one of the Democrats forcing it to close in the first place.