It’s unclear at this point whether there will be a short-term budget deal, or a government “shutdown.” Despite the drama, a shutdown is not really a shut down. Essential services continue.

It’s more of a scale-back, and the government has a lot of discretion as to what gets scaled back. In a press conference today OMB Director Mick Mulvaney made the point that many agencies have reserve funds that can be used, but weren’t used in the 2013 shutdown.

In 2013, Mulvaney stated, Obama “weaponized” the shutdown to make it appear to be worse than it was for political purposes. Via RealClearPolitics:

At an emergency press conference Friday morning, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said that OMB is preparing for “what we’re calling ‘The Schumer Shutdown.” However, Mulvaney says the shutdown will not be as “impactful” as the one in 2013 because the Obama administration “chose to make it worse” for political reasons.

“I’ve been through some of these before,” he said. “The Democrats are opposing a bill that they don’t oppose! … They don’t oppose anything in the bill, but they are opposing the bill.”

“I just want to let everybody know,” he said about the potential government shutdown: “We do not want this, we do not want a shutdown, but if Mr. Schumer insists on it, he is in a position to force this on the American people.”

He assures citizens that the process will be “different” than it was under Obama because President Obama “weaponized” the shutdowns for political purposes.

“The only conclusion I can draw is they did it for political purposes. So it will look different this time around,” he said about the impending shutdown of 2018.

The White House Budget Director continued: “From an OMB perspective because we are involved in managing a lapse or a shutdown, we want to make folks understand that it will look very different than it did under the previous administration. One of the things I’ve learned since I’ve been in this office is, there is no other way to describe it, but the Obama administration weaponized the shutdown of 2013. What they did not tell you is they did not encourage agencies to use carry-forward funds, funds that they were sitting on. Nor did they encourage agencies to use transfer authority. They could have made a shutdown in 2013 much less impactful, but they chose to make it worse. The only conclusion I can draw is they did it for political purposes. So it will look different this time around.”

Jim Acosta of CNN embarrassed himself by suggesting Republicans could avoid a shutdown because they control the House, Senate and Presidency. He knew, of course, that 60 votes are needed in the Senate.

I knew exactly to what Mulvaney was referring when he said the Obama administration weaponized the shutdown, though I bet a lot of people don’t remember.

Obama shut high profile monuments and national parks specifically so that the TV cameras could show veterans and others being turned away. We covered it extensively at the time. We even had a 2013 Shutdown tag.

I tweeted out links to our posts:

That last link is one of my favorites. We send a student reporter to greet Honor Flight returnees returning from D.C. to talk about their experience with the shutdown, including the barricading of the Iwo Jima memorial. Check out the link for multiple interviews and photos of the Welcome Home.


This gentleman, a WWII vet, was gleeful as he explained how the old-timers got out of the bus to remove the barricades. God Bless him.


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