Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: Who Will Get the Blame for Another Government Shutdown?

It appears President Obama and Congress are headed toward another budget impasse in the next few weeks, this time over federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Many are speculating it could lead to another government shutdown. Our "Political Insiders" and readers think, if that happens, Congressional Republicans will get the lion's share of the blame.

A clear majority of the Republicans and Democrats on our panel, as well as our readers, say Republicans in Congress will once again get most of the blame for shutting down the government. About 16% of the Republicans on our panel think President Barack Obama will be held responsible for a shutdown while 11% of the Democrats and 9% of our readers say he will.


Many House and Senate Republicans want to take away Planned Parenthood's federal funding after a series of controversial videos showing officials from the organization discussing selling fetal tissue from abortions for medical research. Planned Parenthood officials claim the videos have been heavily edited. Some conservatives seem willing to shut down the federal government for the second time in two years in order to pull the $500 million in federal funding to the organization.

We also asked whether they would support Utah's members of Congress voting against federal funding for Planned Parenthood even if it means that the government would shut down. A majority of the Republicans on our panel (55%) said they would be in favor of the vote against funding while most of the Democrats and our readers said they would oppose such a vote.


Selected anonymous comments:

"I say Republicans will get the blame, but it won't be as clearcut as the previous shutdown. People have strong feelings about the Planned Parenthood situation, and they might be willing to abide a shutdown to get their pound of flesh."

"Planned Parenthood provides family planning advice that prevents unwanted pregnancies and thus prevents abortions so the idea that defunding Planned Parenthood is a strike against abortions doesn't make a lot of sense."

"Of course the Republicans will get the blame, the media is overwhelmingly composed of Democrats, after all."

"Utah communities around Arches lost $3.9m, Bryce $3.4m, Glen Canyon $3.4m, and Zion $3.1m. Total state losses estimated around $17.7 million. If Ted Cruz and Mike Lee want to engineer another shutdown to spark their fundraising, they should pay Utah off the top of their proceeds."

"Coming soon to your political theater … The impending budget train wreck …. Fascinating that Congress will claim they are doing something, while the rest of the nation has a fascination with watching the train wreck happen, rather than electing statesmen and stateswomen that will actually do their jobs and govern as Americans, not partisans."

"If an organization, which may provide some positive benefit, but also is caught doing illegal, unethical behavior, there should be little controversy in scrutinizing, debating, and even canceling government funding of that organization."

"So tired of political stunts from Senator Lee and his clown-like associates. We are supposed to be the greatest nation in the world, not a bunch of reactionary knee jerk buffoons who risk our national economic health to score political points with the far-right wing of their party."

"Here we go again!"

"More tantrum throwing from the worst elected officials in Congress. Not surprising. But disappointing nonetheless."

"Our country has enough problems without an artificial economic crisis every time a budget is prepared. This isn't the venue for arguments."

"If the GOP clearly does not have the votes to remove this funding, which can't be used for abortions anyway, then they have nothing to gain by shutting the government down again. Just like last time, they will be forced to accept it eventually and in the meantime it hurts federal employees and retirees, visitors to National Parks and other federal lands, and many others. Just don't do it!"

"Because they shut down the government once before, the R's will be blamed most places outside the rabid Red states like here."

"To shut down the government over a blatantly political wedge issue reveals the pettiness of our current political scene. Grow up!"

"Haven't we had enough political posturing from our members of Congress? They shouldn't shut down a good organization because it uses some of its funding (not that from government, remember) to do things they don't like, nor should they shut down the government to 'prove' that government doesn't work. If anything isn't working in government, it's Congress!"

"The Congressional Republicans never seem to learn. Their shutdown brinksmanship tactics always backfire on them and they (and the party) come out the losers. I'm all in favor of defunding planned parenthood, but there has got to be a smarter way to do it. I suspect the Dems are absolutely hoping the Republicans will be foolish enough to try a shut-down once again."

"Utah's members of Congress are not very good. That's why they get caught up in this."